FITNESS 1: Students from Dracut High School demonstrate how to work the various stations at Dracut’s Fitness Court, now open to the public at Veterans Park. (PHOTO BY PAULA CHAUSSE)
FITNESS 2: From left at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Dracut’s Fitness Court are Selectman Jennifer Kopcinski; Selectmen Chair Alison Genest; Adam Thornton of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Town Manager Ann Vandal; State Rep. Colleen Garry; State Sen. Edward Kennedy; and Assistant Town Manager Victor Garofalo. (PHOTO BY JEROME THOMAS)
The Town of Dracut just became more fit with the official opening of its outdoor Fitness Court at Veterans Park.
Several town and state dignitaries spoke at the event on November 1, all of them taking time to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield for its generous grant, which, along with a commitment by Dracut Town Meeting of Community Preservation funds, helped pay for the apparatus.
Town Manager Ann Vandal thanked Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Adam Thornton, who was on hand for the opening.
“Your partnership has been instrumental in making this campaign a resounding success,” Vandal said, “and it wouldn’t have been possible without your unwavering dedication to the cause of promoting healthier lives. … The positive impact of this equipment will be felt for years to come.”
The Fitness Court allows people to use their own body weight to experience a complete workout using seven exercise stations. The workouts, created for ages 14 and older of all abilities, are adaptable for all fitness levels, allowing participants to move at their own pace. Users can also download the free Fitness Court App, which enhances the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness experience.
The Fitness Court includes a QR code that can be used to download instructions on how to use the seven stations.
Vandal, Assistant Town Manager Victor Garofalo and Human Resources Generalist Sabrina Vozzella worked for about a year with Blue Cross Blue Shield, National Fitness Campaign and the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, the town’s municipal insurance provider, to make the Fitness Court a reality.
“We appreciate Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for their support in bringing this important program to our community, and for recognizing the need to support healthy lifestyles for all Bay Staters,” Garofalo said.
State Rep. Colleen Garry of Dracut said the town and Blue Cross Blue Shield, have created another outlet for residents to improve their health, noting that the Fitness Court is adjacent to the walking path at Veterans Park.
“So many people walk around the track for their cardio, and now they can get their strength training in,” Rep. Garry said.
State Sen. Edward Kennedy noted that the Fitness Court, in addition to being centrally located, “will enhance the enjoyment of Veterans Park for the residents of Dracut and surrounding communities.”
Dracut’s is one of 15 Blue Cross Fitness Courts currently open or under construction in easily accessible public spaces. Blue Cross’ sponsorship of National Fitness Campaign is part of the company’s strengthened corporate citizenship commitment to promote health justice in communities across Massachusetts.