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New gym equipment unveiled across Exeter

Published: 16 November 2018

New gym equipment unveiled The new Virtual Reality Spinning Studio at Riverside Leisure Centre

New gym equipment has been unveiled in leisure centres across Exeter. The new gear is part of a £3m investment in the city’s sports facilities.

Four Exeter City Council owned leisure centres across the city are enjoying an injection of cash, improving facilities and bringing them up to 21st Century standards.

The good news comes as Exeter has been recognised as the most active Local Authority in England, according to latest figures from Sport England.

Nearly four in five adults (79%) undertake more than 150 minutes of activity every week compared to the national figure of three in five (62%). The figures placing Exeter on top of the rostrum are revealed in Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey for October 2018.

Cllr Phil Bialyk, Lead Councillor for Sport, Health and Wellbeing, and Chair of the Exeter Health and Wellbeing Board said: “This is great news but we’re not standing still. We know that there are still sections of the population who struggle to be physically active and that is our challenge moving forward.”

In Wonford, work to get more and more people active is already taking place. An exciting new virtual reality spinning studio, new gym and weights room have just been installed at the Wonford Leisure Centre, replacing old, out-dated and dimly-lit rooms with the latest state-of-the art gym equipment.

“It is a 100% improvement on what we had before,” said Cllr Bialyk. “The virtual reality spinning studio really does make exercising fun. I would challenge anyone to give it a go!” he said.  The outdoor football pitch will also be refurbished next year.

Not far away at the Riverside, a new yoga room has been installed, along with a VR spin studio. The gym area is also being refurbished with a training rig system. The reception area will also be improved.

At Exeter Arena a new VR spin studio will be created along with a new gym at the nearby ISCA Centre.

Pyramids is also being smartened up, with refurbished changing rooms, reception and lobby.

“This is great news for our sports centre users,” said Cllr Bialyk. “As the most active local authority in the UK we have to ensure that our facilities are up to scratch.”

“It’s been a difficult year, losing Clifton Hill and the complicated situation of getting the swimming pool at the Riverside back up and running again following the fire. It’s no easy task but we are now starting to give people something to look forward to with these exciting improvements and the new St Sidwell’s Leisure Centre opening up at the end of 2020.”   

But it’s not all about sport. It’s about enabling people to be more active – to make small changes to their lives, like walking children to school instead of using the car, cycling to work or just getting off the sofa or out of the house.

Last year, Exeter and Cranbrook was chosen by Sport England as one of only 12 pilot areas in England to work on a bold new approach to build healthier, active communities. Promoting active and healthy lifestyles is one of the three top priorities identified in the City Council’s Corporate Plan. Already the city has the highest number of commuters walking to work in the UK*. In the next three years the City Council is working towards doubling the figure of those cycling to work.

“We have some work to do, but it’s already very encouraging,” said Cllr Bialyk. “There isn’t just one single thing that we’re doing to achieve these results – it’s about working with our partners, working in the communities and giving people the opportunity to get more active and make a difference to their lives.”

 Some of the initiatives being delivered across the city include:

  • Couch to 5K running programmes at dozens of locations across the city through the Get Active Exeter programme
  • Free tennis coaching sessions on City Council courts at Heavitree and Cowick Barton Playing Fields
  • Exeter City FC City Community Trust delivering health and wellbeing programmes including City Fit Club and Man Vs Fat
  • Active Mums cycling group on the Quayside and Wonford Leisure Centre
  • An award-winning social prescribing programme under the Wellbeing Exeter umbrella that builds firm foundations for individuals and communities to improve their health and wellbeing

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