New outdoor fitness court opens in Janesville
Free court offers 30 pieces of equipment
JANESVILLE, Wis. — A brand new fitness area opened in Janesville Friday, and people can use it for free.
The 30-piece body weight circuit is on the corner of South River and West Court streets.
“As a lifelong Janesville resident, I’ve always hoped for something like this. For a free, accessible, fitness court for folks to be able to take advantage of when it fits their schedule,” said Eric Thornton, the vice president of operations for SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Janesville.
The outdoor gym has areas for people to squat, push, lunge, pull, bend and do core and agility.
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City manager Mark Freitag said the fitness court is the first of its kind in Wisconsin.
“Today, we officially bring free — I say again, free — world-class fitness to Janesville by providing the best outdoor gym in the world,” he said.
Dozens of people who work for the city joined Freitag for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. But for one city parks worker, the fitness court is more than a place to work out. It was his idea.
As an engineering intern in Las Vegas in 2011, Ethan Lee was tasked with coming up with a court design for a fitness campaign. The first body weight fitness court was built in San Francisco in 2014, according to Freitag.
In 2015, Janesville hired Lee and in 2018, his design came to life in Janesville.
“It’s just kind of one of those small world things that here we are seven years after this initial drawing, and we’ve got one of these new ones right here in Janesville. Oh, by the way, originally designed by our parks supervisor,” Freitag said.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, people from SSM Health demonstrated how to use the fitness equipment. There were also health and wellness booths for people to visit.
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