The Malta Street Sports Association is calling for more public spaces catered to older age groups in light of their use as outdoor gyms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People using outdoor recreational spaces as gyms because of COVID-19 is a clear indication that we must change the way we create our open spaces,” the association said in a press release.
While gyms were closed during Malta’s partial-lockdown period, many took to public spaces to get their daily workouts. One example MSSA uses is the Qui Si-Sana park which was designed for children but, because of its metal frames and open spaces, was being used as a makeshift gym for adults over the past few months.
“Research is showing that in Europe and in Malta, the most popular activities are swimming, biking, team sports like football and basketball and group exercise like crossfit… but, unfortunately, we don’t have the facilities and design to cater for these users.”
Malta has parks that cater to streets sports such as skateboarding and parkour. However, one had to be closed due to health and safety reasons and another demolished with the promise of a new park to be rebuilt.
“We need to re-evaluate how we look at public spaces and move towards creating spaces for all ages to enjoy.”
The COVID-19 has given way to a new normal and while many gyms have opened, many still frequent public parks with inadequate equipment for their workouts.