As the weather starts to warm up, many will venture outside to get their daily dose of exercise, but doing so at one of the several outdoor gyms in Malta is seldom an option.
In its quest to reshape and redefine health and fitness in Malta, online fitness community Bulletproof Culture visited a number of outdoor gyms and spoke to gym-goers about the facilities and equipment available provided, and what needs to improve.
The Bulletproof team visited outdoor gyms in Ta’ Qali, Pembroke and Sliema, and whilst each gym goer they spoke to had their own take on the state of the scene, all agreed that enough isn’t being done to provide an adequate workout space.
“They don’t really serve the function they should,” one outside gym goer said. “There’s a few bits of functional equipment together with the standard Malta outdoor gym equipment,” he said.
“It’s a great initiative but it wasn’t done well,” said another. “They’ve been in a deteriorating state ever since they were put up, it’s a recipe for injury,” he said.
In one case, a poorly-designed dip bar at Sliema’s outdoor gym resulted in one individual sustaining a wrist injury – an injury that still requires therapy and the use of a wrist support months later.
With gyms forced to close for over two months now due to Covid-19 restriction measures, many fitness enthusiasts made use of public spaces to satisfy their workout cravings, only to find that the island’s exercise machines are rusty, poorly maintained and not fit for use.
As a result, Bulletproof launched Project Robinhood with the intention of creating more awareness about health and fitness for future generations. The team has also presented its own plan for a functional outdoor gym designed within the same parameters of the gym in Ta’ Qali.
The online community is expected to launch a full documentary on the subject in the coming weeks.
In response to the initiative, SportMalta said it has invested €300,000 to help local councils improve their open area facilities, including outdoor gyms.
Talks have already been held between the Parliamentary Secretary for Sports Clifton Grima, Bulletproof Culture and the Sliema Local Council to explore possible future collaborations.
“They don’t seem to be taking outdoor training seriously,” another gym-goer said.
Gyms will be allowed to reopen on 24th May, along with swimming pools, after over two months of closure due to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
However, the quest to improve outdoor gym facilities for a country that is pushing for sports tourism continues.
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