Cambridge

Cambridge to get free boot camp to fight the flab and lethargy in most deprived area of city

Cambridge is to get a free fat-fighting boot camp to battle obesity and 'sedentary behaviours' in the most deprived area of the city.

The £40,000 fitness equipment will be built in Coldham's Common next to Abbey swimming pools and it is hoped it will encourage people living in Abbey ward to keep fit.

The ward had the highest benefit population in the city in 2017.

Kings Hedges ward had the highest proportion of children living in benefit households at 38 per cent in 2017, closely followed by Abbey ward at 35 per cent.

Abbey ward had the highest proportion of pensioners living in benefit households at 28 per cent in 2017 closely followed by Kings Hedges ward at 25 per cent, according to Mapping Poverty 2017.

A report to Cambridge City Council's east area committee said the playground-style project is set to be completed in August (2018).

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The report says: "The purpose of the project is to install outdoor fitness equipment at the side of Abbey Pools. The equipment will provide a boot camp style fitness opportunity within the most deprived ward of the city which also has the high levels of obesity and sedentary behaviours.

"The equipment will be free to use, engaging and fun which can lead to healthier lifestyles and behaviours."

What the 'boot camp' will look like

Keep talking

The report says a consultation with the city council's Streets and Open spaces team has taken place to discuss the use of potential spaces around the swimming pool and AstroTurf and on the fringes of Coldham's Common, for the installation of the fitness equipment.

An online survey was available on the councils website, from May to June back in 2016.

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Of the 38 responses received Option A by the side of the pool was favoured by 21 respondents with the next favoured position being tied on six votes each.

What it could look like

Only one response was received that none of the locations were suitable. Of the 38 respondents 31 of them said that they would use the equipment and four responding that they would not use it.

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The report added: "There were a number of comments regarding the general area by the pool itself and how respondents would like to see this area tidied up, shrubbery cleared, painting of the bridge, tidying the paths and additional lighting.

"Some of this has already been addresses such as improved lighting and the remaining items can be addressed with the Streets and Open Spaces Team when the project is rolled out.

"Officers from Arts & Recreation and the Open Spaces Team met with members of the Friends of Coldhams Common group following their request to meet on site to discuss the project.

"Whilst they supported the scheme and its objectives, they did not agree with the any of the proposed locations and offered alternative locations outside of those of being consulted on (these being within the overflow car park at the pool).

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"Officers considered these options but they concluded they were not suitable alternative locations for the equipment. Ward councillors have been consulted on the project and are happy for it to progress and be installed in the proposed location."

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