Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 09:44 UK

Playground for pensioners opens

People using the fitness equipment
The "pensioners' playground" has been officially opened

A "pensioners' playground" designed to boost fitness in a Sussex seaside town is being officially opened.

The facility was set up by a community panel at Eastbourne Homes to offer a gentle workout for the "more mature".

Retired and elderly people were meeting at the Archery Recreation Ground to test the equipment to mark the opening.

Sue Parsons, panel treasurer, said it had 10 fitness stations including the surfer, space walker, body twister, skier, and horseback rider.

She said: "We visited the outdoor gym they have in Manchester and it was clear how much fun people were having when they used it.

"I hope the young and old take advantage of ours in Eastbourne and get a little bit fitter in the process."

This equipment is for everyone
Sue Parsons

She added: "This equipment is for everyone.

"We have located it next to the kids playground, so any mums and dads who want to keep fit while keeping an eye on their young ones, the outdoor gym is the perfect way to do it."

Eastbourne Homes, which has four area panels working to improve local communities, said private gyms were too expensive for many people on fixed incomes, but the outdoor facility offered regular exercise.

When the scheme in Eastbourne was being designed, a group from the Sussex town visited a play area for older people which opened in a park in north Manchester last year.

The playground on the Dam Head Estate in Blackley had equipment to strengthen hips, tone legs and train the upper body and was modelled on a play area in Germany.

Pensioners in Eastbourne try out the new playground equipment

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