Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pensioners playground

From the outside it looks like any other playground in any other park. The smiles on the faces and loud laughter coming from it are the same you will see and hear anywhere.

There are no swings, roundabouts or slides - but that doesn't spoil the fun in the country's first outdoor playground . . . for the over 60s! which has opened in a park in north Manchester.

The Older People's Play Area on the Dam Head Estate in Blackley, is kitted out with equipment to strengthen hips, tone legs and train the upper body.

It was set up by the local residents' association, who were inspired by a similar playground in Germany.

The park, which cost £15,000 to build, was tested by locals aged over 70 before it opened to the public. It was paid for by Northwards Housing, who said they were "delighted" to support the scheme.

It can be found next to the under-fives play area, and has six pieces of equipment designed to give older people a gentle workout. Parts of the exercise stations are also accessible to wheelchair users.

Joan Fitzgerald, chair of the Dam Head Residents' Association (DAMRA), said it was "great fun." "I'd recommend anyone to come and have a go, after all you're never too old to play," she said.

It has also been welcomed by Age Concern.

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