Children ‘hit the gym’ during school lunch

Pupils at Heritage Park primary school using their new outdoor excercise equiptment. Pictured are Zuzia Walczak and Sienna Harrold EMN-171103-215530009
Pupils at Heritage Park primary school using their new outdoor excercise equiptment. Pictured are Zuzia Walczak and Sienna Harrold EMN-171103-215530009

Hitting the gym at lunchtime is not many people’s idea of a good time, but for energetic pupils at one Peterborough primary school break-time now means one thing - a playground cardio session.

Fitness and fun don’t often go together for a generation which finds it hard to separate themselves from their smartphones and tablets, but nobody has told the pupils at Heritage Park Primary in Park Farm Way, Park Farm, Stanground.

Pupils at Heritage Park primary school using their new outdoor excercise equiptment. Pictured  in front is Ben Adler EMN-171103-215555009

Pupils at Heritage Park primary school using their new outdoor excercise equiptment. Pictured in front is Ben Adler EMN-171103-215555009

The children can’t wait for lessons to end so they can hop onto their new outdoor fitness equipment which has been installed at a cost of £10,500.

The excited pupils even feel that lunchtime is “really fun now.”

Lillie-Mai Canty (9) said: “It’s so good we can have fun at the same time as being fit.”

Leo Roberts (9) said: “Our new gym equipment is amazing! And I still can’t decide which one is my favourite.”

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Florence-Lily Gardner EMN-170315-112956009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Florence-Lily Gardner EMN-170315-112956009

Florence-Lily Gardner (9) said: “My favourite piece of equipment is the air walker because it feels like I’m walking in space.”

Equipment includes a cross rider - which is described as being like a cross trainer - and cardio boxes which can be used as steps to go up and down on.

Only pupils who are aged seven and above can use the fitness kit, with adults banned from joining in.

Heritage Park headteacher Karen Hepworth-Lavery said the idea for the ‘outdoor gym’ came from seeing something similar being used at another school.

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Florence-Lily Gardner EMN-170315-113010009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Florence-Lily Gardner EMN-170315-113010009

She said: “It’s come out of our sport programme grant. It was not enough money but the Friends of Heritage Park had a Summer fête and Christmas bazaar which made up the shortfall.

“It’s a whole outdoor gym with eight pieces of equipment and 14 children can use it at any one time.

“The idea was for the children to use it at lunchtime.

“It’s a dumbed down adults gym for Key Stage 2 children.”

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is  Lillie-Mai Canty EMN-170315-113025009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Lillie-Mai Canty EMN-170315-113025009

The fitness equipment was fitted at the school during half-term and the excited children finally got to try it out last Thursday.

It is placed in the school field and underneath it is a special surface which means that pupils who fall off will not hurt themselves.

However, for children who prefer more traditional lunchtime fun then other play equipment is still available for them to use.

Karen added: “The parents were keen for it and the children were so excited when they saw it. They were wondering who was going to be the first class to use it.

“There are already quite a lot of things here but it’s just something else they can do.

“It’s another option but they do not have to do it. For those that want to use it, it’s there.

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is  Lillie-Mai Canty EMN-170315-112937009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Lillie-Mai Canty EMN-170315-112937009

“They did not have anything like this when I was a kid!”

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is  Leo Roberts EMN-170315-113055009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Leo Roberts EMN-170315-113055009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is  Leo Roberts EMN-170315-113109009

Heritage Park primary school pupils using their new outdoor play/gym equiptment. Pictured is Leo Roberts EMN-170315-113109009