park lives bham 001

Olympic gold medal winner, Jessica Ennis-Hill was in Birmingham today to launch the new ParkLives scheme.

The scheme builds on the Active Parks pilot carried out in 5 Birmingham parks last year, including Walkers Heath Park, as part of Birmingham Be Active.

Based on the huge success of the pilot, ParkLives/Active Parks is now available in around 50 parks and green spaces across Birmingham, including Walkers Heath, Cofton, Senneleys, Cotteridge, Kings Norton, West Heath and Lickey Hills Parks.

The scheme is supported by Birmingham City Council and Coca-Cola Zero and offers outdoor activities for all ages and abilities, including cycling, Zumba, Tai Chi, rowing, ParkFit, netball, rounders and more.

Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives ambassador and Olympic Gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill joined hundreds of Active Parkers from across the city at Ward End Park in Hodge Hill today to enjoy a range of activities including Tai Chi, rounders and Zumba.

After joining in with some activities, Jessica said: “Parks are a really great place to spend time with friends and family and so it’s fantastic that Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives is here in Birmingham offering free activities that everyone can enjoy this summer.

“This is all about encouraging people to be active while having fun, so whatever your age or ability there’s an activity that you can try.”

Leanne Youngson from Friends of Walkers Heath Park worked on the pilot scheme and is Community Coordinator for the scheme which she is passionate about. She said: “This is about more than just being physically active. I’ve seen how it builds community pride and spirit. Local people can shape the activities in their area and the response to the pilot scheme was amazing.”

Activities will take place outdoors from June until September this year and will run from April to September from 2015. All are free and suit all ages and abilities. 

To find out what’s on in your local park, visit the Active Parks website and join in!

Some of the local activities (as of 30th May 2014 – may be subject to change):

Cofton Park

  • Tai Chi – Tuesdays 10.30-11.30am – Lowhill Lane car park – Tai Chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements.  Suitable for all ages and abilities and can improve balance and stability.
  • Zumba – Thursdays 6-7pm – Lowhill Lane car park – Zumba is a fun dance fitness session. The exercises include music with fast and slow rhythms. Dance styles include salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, samba and hip hop.  Everyone is welcome to join in the festival of dance and have fun.

Kings Norton Park/Nature Reserve

  • Conservation – Tuesdays 10.30am-1.30pm – Various locations – check the FKNNR website for details – Conservation is the important act of preserving, guarding, or protecting our parks. You will learn new skills and expertise whilst supporting the parks ecological system and habitats.  Practical activities may include habitat management, supporting the nature reserve, planting, digging, clearing.  Why not have fun, protecting and preserving Birmingham’s beautiful parks.

Lickey Hills Country Park

  • Active conservation – Tuesdays 10am-2pm – Visitors’ Centre, Warren Lane  – Warm-up, conservation activities, exercises and stretching. This is the opportunity to become physically active in the outdoors at the same time learning to support the parks ecological system and habitats. Why not have fun, protecting and preserving Birmingham’s beautiful parks.
  • Tai Chi Tuesdays 10-11am – Beacon Hill – Tai Chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle Movements. Suitable for all ages and abilities and can improve balance and stability.

Senneleys Park

  • Green Fit Baby – Mondays 1.30-2.30pm – Meet at Asda Barnes Hill – Outdoor fitness class created for parents to exercise alongside their babies with pushchairs or prams.  Incorporating special exercises for postnatal women and using the natural park environment.  Opportunities to chat afterwards over a cuppa.
  • Fizzical Dance (ages 8-14) – Wednesdays 5-6pm – Car park near Overfield Road Entrance – Fun, fitness, dance activity geared at 8 – 14 years. Lively and lots of fun.

Walkers Heath Park

  • Zumba Mondays 5-6pm – At the Courts – Zumba is a fun dance fitness session. The exercises include music with fast and slow rhythms. Dance styles include salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, samba and hip hop. Everyone is welcome to join in the festival of dance and have fun.
  • Green Fit Baby Tuesdays 12.45-1.45pm – Druids Lane allotments – Outdoor fitness classes created for parents to do exercise alongside their babies with pushchairs or prams. Incorporating special exercises for postnatal women. Opportunities to chat afterwards over a cuppa.
  • AthleFITTuesdays 7-8pm – At the Courts – AthleFIT is fun, flexible, non competitive and accessible for all. It combines the best of running, jumping and throwing in a fun and inclusive way which can be tailored to everyone’s needs and abilities. It includes fun activities such as team relays, jumping over obstacles and throwing foam javelins.
  • Tai Chi Thursdays 12-1pm – at the courts – Tai Chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle Movements. Suitable for all ages and abilities and can improve balance and stability.
  • Fizzical multi-sports – 8-14 years Thursdays 5-6pm – at the courts – Fun, fitness activities geared at 8 – 14 years. Try handball and other sports. Every time something new.
  • Community Fit – Saturdays 11-12 – at the courts – A fun fitness session for all the family and great for beginners. Family fitness using the natural environment and playing small games e.g. relays, circuits, tag

West Heath Park

  • Green Fit Baby – Thursdays 9.30-10.30am – Oddingley Hall car park – Outdoor fitness class created for parents to exercise alongside their babies with pushchairs or prams.  Incorporating special exercises for postnatal women and using the natural park environment.  Opportunities to chat afterwards over a cuppa

For an up to date list of activities and participating parks, visit the Active Parks website and join in!

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