Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, City of Willmar and National Fitness Campaign announced today an agreement for an outdoor Fitness Court (r) Studio in Sperry Park. The Fitness Court Studio at Homewood Avenue NE will be opened on Wednesday, 19th July at 10 a.m., with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Fitness Court Studio in Willmar will be the very first of its kind to open in Minnesota.
Sperry Park, one of Willmar’s 37 parks, is easily accessible and visible to both residents and visitors. This location, located off of one of Willmar’s most heavily traveled roads, was chosen for its proximity of Robbins Island as well as its recreational amenities that are suitable for adults and children of all ages. Around 9,500 Willmar residents will be able to walk or cycle to the Fitness Court Studio.
The Blue Cross, City of Willmar, and NFC developed this Fitness Court Studio to provide free and equitable access to high-quality workouts for all communities in the state.
Blue Cross will sponsor up to 10 Fitness Courts in Minnesota over the next 2 years. The health plan places racial equity and health equity as the core of its support by providing accessible fitness opportunities to a variety of geographically and culturally diverse communities. Blue Cross also emphasizes community art beautification through Fitness Court space designs created by local artists. Sonja Madsen was chosen to be a permanent part of the Fitness Court Studio in the City of Willmar. She is a sculpture artist who was raised and born in Willmar.
The Fitness Court Studio provides over 2,000 square foot of healthy infrastructure. It is double the size of an average Fitness Court. The Fitness Court Studio allows classes like yoga, pilates or zumba to be held while the Fitness Court can be used for both group and individual workouts. Fitness Court is a world-class outdoor gym where people can use their body weight for a complete workout at seven stations. The workouts can be adapted to suit all fitness levels and are designed for people over 14 years old. The Fitness Court App is also available for free to users. This app acts as a coach in your pocket and transforms an outdoor gym into digitally supported wellness.
Bukata Hayes is the vice president for racial equity and chief equity officer of Blue Cross. She said, “This Fitness Court Studio represents Blue Cross’ commitment to creating healthier communities throughout the state.” Blue Cross has built a special relationship with Willmar’s community over the last decade through public health initiatives. We are thrilled to continue these efforts by providing a barrier-free and equitable exercise opportunity that can drive more positive health outcomes for the community.
Residents are invited on July 19, 10 am, to the launch of the Fitness Court Studio. Visit the Willmarmn.gov for more information or call Parks and Recreation (320)235-1454.
For more information on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s support of NFC, please visit nationalfitnesscampaign.com/minnesota.