Last July in Victoria Harbour, on the corner of Bourke and Collins streets opposite Library at The Dock, something that resembles a large obstacle course appeared. The course, consisting of a 130-metre running track, half basketball court and associated equipment stations, is known as the Victoria Harbour Temporary Activity Zone. The assorted gym equipment by Lappset was designed in collaboration with Mikko Salo and is a modern outdoor training facility, carefully designed based on principles derived from the CrossFit exercise philosophy.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that takes cues from gymnastics, aerobic exercise and weightlifting, and endeavours to improve fitness, coordination, strength and agility (among other things). Lend Lease has installed the Temporary Activity Zone as part of a space for the public and surrounding community to utilise and enjoy for the next few years, until building commences on the site. The Temporary Activity Zone is designed to be used by a wide range of people of varying ability, and imbue those who use it with strength and with skills that are functional, lifeapplicable and that will assist them in their day-to-day activities.
As the Lappset equipment will be new to many users, YMCA has been providing free thirty-minute training sessions running over summer. The sessions will run at 12:30pm and 1pm twice a week, and YMCA manager Andrew Ward says the sessions have three primary objectives – to educate people on how to use the equipment safely and effectively, to lead a guided exercise session, and to provide a community service.
“Our role within Docklands is not just running gyms – we provide free sessions for those who may not be able to afford to go to a gym, and get people outdoors,” Ward says. YMCA predicts the sessions will attract a variety of individuals, from local corporate workers to residents and other members of the community. “From a training perspective, working at high intensity for thirty minutes is a great way to exercise, and taking the exercise outdoors provides great benefits like sunlight, fresh air and social interaction. Once you learn those outdoor training skills, it’s a very portable way to exercise… It’s like a playground for adults.”
Known for their active lifestyles, local residents have already embraced the Temporary Activity Zone. “Historically, the Docklands community has been very responsive to outdoor spaces,” Ward says. The Temporary Activity Zone is an excellent addition to Victoria Harbour and Docklands’ many community outdoor spaces, including sports courts, cycling tracks and running tracks.
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