New reason to keep fit at Rocky’s iconic riverfront
SOAKING in the glorious sight of Rockhampton’s Fitzroy River is a drawcard many residents enjoy while undertaking a daily fitness regimen.
But while many either typically walk or run the iconic riverfront pathway, a chance to enjoy a mix of strength training has previously been overlooked – until now.
Rockhampton Regional Council’s new $30,000 exercise hub at Col Brown Park was last month opened to the public, following around six months of delays and planning.
A variety of exercise machines – including a cross-trainer, sit up bench and chest press machine – are now available to those who frequent the area.
First pitched by resident and fitness fanatic Dimitri Kondilis, the inspiration, he revealed came after witnessing the popularity of Brisbane and Noosa’s use of public gym equipment.
“A lot of people use the riverbank here for running or walking, I just thought as an avid runner myself, I wanted to see more of the area used in regard to its space,” he said.
“Gyms aren’t for everyone, so having some outdoor equipment kind of brings everyone here and offers them something.”
Chair of Communities Drew Wickerson greenlighted the idea, even using his designated Councillor capital funds to finance the community-based project.
Despite its budget surpassing the funds Mr Wickerson had available, RRC’s Parks and Recreation division was able to front its remaining balance.
“Every morning and afternoon you see so many people running or cycling. It’s a really good network between some more family oriented things down the other end of the path too,” Mr Wickerson said.
“Gyms are great for a lot of people, but some other people don’t want that. They want to exercise in the sunshine at their leisure and this is something that balances out the fitness in our community.”
He added the new installation also came as part of council’s wider plans to further restore some of the park’s lacklustre conditions.
“We’ve got a lot of residents that live up in the high rises and they use it as a surrogate yard. They want to see more colour, and we’ve developed a landscape plan for the whole park.”
While currently at a standstill due to lack of funds, future plans include an overhaul of the park’s garden beds, along with a possible widening of its pathways.
Mr Kondilis further revealed his delight, saying the completion of his request reflected RRC’s commitment to its local community.
“You can approach council with anything, they like to listen and put something in place and hopefully this is the first of many to come.”
While appropriate COVID-19 safety measure had been used prior to the hub’s opening, responsibility to maintain hygiene standards now ultimately falls on its users.
“Be aware that other members of the public are going to be using it, so it would be good practice to make sure wash your hands afterwards and bring your own personal sanitiser,” Mr Wickerson added.
The new equipment can be found at Col Brown Park on Victoria Parade.