The city of Hoover, Shelby County and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama on Wednesday opened a new fitness court at Veterans Park in Hoover.
The court is a 40-by-40-foot pad with full-body workout stations designed for core exercises, squats, pushups, lunges, pullups, agility movements and bends.
People can put their smartphones up to QR codes and receive instructions on how to use the various workout stations.
The fitness court is part of a national effort by a San Francisco-based social enterprise and consulting firm called The Fitness Campaign and is designed to improve people’s health and fitness by giving them opportunities to do free full-body workouts in outdoor areas instead of having to be a member of a gym or indoor fitness center.
The workout stations are designed for use by anyone, no matter their age or physical fitness level.
The Fitness Campaign, which began in 1979, hopes to have 10,000 fitness courts across the United States.
Erin Colbaugh, Hoover’s parks and recreation director, said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, brought the idea of putting one in Hoover to the city and asked for the city’s involvement.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama provided a $50,000 grant to help pay for the fitness court. The total cost was $167,350. Hoover and Shelby County each provided $58,675 in cash or in-kind services to make the court a reality, Colbaugh said.
Hoover chose Veterans Park as the location because so many people already visit Veterans Park daily to walk or run on the trails or do other outdoor activities, she said. This will give them easy access to add full-body workouts to their routines, she said.
Conversations with the city began in March of last year, so the project was completed in less than a year.
Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, at a grand opening and ribbon cutting Wednesday, thanked Shelby County and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama for being great partners with the city of Hoover.
Shelby County Commissioner Lindsey Allison said the fitness court is an incredible addition to the park for people who like to exercise.
Sophie Martin, Blue Cross’ director of corporate communication and community relations, said her company wanted to provide an innovative and fun platform for people to get outside and get healthy.
Tim King, manager of The Caring Foundation and corporate giving for Blue Cross, said this is the ninth outdoor fitness court Blue Cross has helped build in Alabama.
“We hope this new innovative platform will impact the people in a positive way by encouraging them to lead a healthy lifestyle,” King said. “Having access to free outdoor recreational opportunities, we believe, will be the catalyst for communities to be healthier and happier.”