We love it when a plan comes together.
While the village was still in the planning stages, different groups of people were involved in research for its design. Besides people with disabilities, we also involved residents of Redhill, because the goal of the village was to be a space for the residents of Redhill and Lengkok Bahru, and not just a centre of disability-related services.
One outcome of this community-centred approach is the inclusion of outdoor fitness corners, located at the PLAYGROUND block, near the side entrance facing the HDB blocks of Redhill Close. Open daily and free for public use, they are designed to allow people of different abilities and ages to exercise together. (The fitness equipment was made possible by a $250,000 sponsorship by the Standard Chartered Bank)
We also knew that, besides having the hardware, programmes are important for residents too. To this end, SG Enable collaborated with Republic Polytechnic to create the Fun-Tastic Healthy Lifestyle Programme. A team of six students from the Mass Communication and the Health Management and Promotion faculties were involved in the planning of the fitness activities.
The first run of the community project was completed in July, where about 80 seniors from NTUC Health’s SilverACE Senior Activity Centres (Redhill and Bukit Merah) took part. Staff volunteers from the Standard Charted Bank also helped at the event.
After some simple warm up exercises, the participants tried out a range of exercises that focused on the upper and lower body and strengthening core muscles. At many of the stations, such as weighted squat and overhead press, the Republic Polytechnic students help participants adjusted the resistance of the equipment to their fitness and strength levels.
“Programmes like these encourages people to pursue an active lifestyle within a community setting,” said Madam Chan Kum Hong, a Fun-tastic participant, in Mandarin. The spritely 69-year-old exercises regularly in the neighbourhood. “I was part of the study when Enabling Village was being built. An outdoor exercise space for residents of all abilities was something I hoped for.”
Ms Low Pei Pei, 37, a lecturer from Republic Polytechnic’s School of Sports, Health and Leisure said, “The fitness corners are definitely an inclusive space that can act as a focal point for all members of the community including those with disabilities and those undergoing rehabilitation.”
This Fun-Tastic programme aims to benefit up to 800 lower-income senior citizens by 2017.