Outdoor workouts for adults could come to the Hammond School

Jul 27, 2020

Adults in town may have a new place to workout next year, as an outdoor “Fitness Court” has been proposed for Hammond Playground in Onset.

The courts are part of the National Fitness Campaign, which brings outdoor exercise equipment to cities and college campuses around the country. 

Patty Neal has been working with the campaign since December to bring a court to Onset and is now seeking Community Preservation funding for the project. 

The court would be located where the squash wall used to be at the Hammond Playground. 

With pull-up bars, gymnastics equipment, and an agility station, the court has its own exercise program built around seven key movements and fitness goals: squat, push, pull, lunge, core, bend, and agility. 

Neal said that part of what makes the Fitness Court appealing is the mobile phone app developed by the National Fitness Campaign that shows people how to properly use all of the equipment. 

Neal said the Hammond Playground is an ideal location for the court because of the seasonal community and heavy foot traffic in the area. 

She explained that during the summer, residents and visitors could use the facility for free without having to sign up at a gym. It would, of course, also be available year-round.

“I just think that it’s a really great opportunity for adults [to get in shape],” she said, because the court would be easily accessible, and has workouts designed for different fitness levels. 

“Wherever you’re at in your fitness journey, there’s something to do on the fitness court,” said Trent Matthias, the director of the National Fitness Campaign. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Matthias also noted that the fitness courts can easily accommodate people following social distancing. 

Neal added that while there are play areas for kids in town, this would be one of the few outdoor facilities for adults, as the Fitness Courts are for people ages 14 and up only.

Neal said that the court is “something we want to give to the community” because it fosters healthy living. 

So far, the Wareham Board of Selectmen has approved the potential location of the court, but approval is still needed from the Community Preservation Committee and Town Meeting voters for additional funding. 

Neal has already received two grants from the National Fitness Campaign. 

One was for $30,000 to be taken off of the cost for the court. The other was for $10,000 to cover the cost of a mural which would be painted on the back of the court. 

Neal has requested $150,000 from the CPC, although she said that she hopes to not have to use all of the funding to build the court. Community Preservation funds are raised through a three percent surcharge on property tax bills and can be spent on projects in four categories: open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation. Spending the funds must be approved at Town Meeting. 

She added that over the winter, she will be soliciting sponsors for the court and hopefully receive enough support to cover the cost of installation with any additional funds going into an account for the court's future maintenance.  

For more information on the National Fitness Campaign and Fitness Courts, go to nationalfitnesscampaign.com.