Free fitness on the beach

Construction material used for new fitness parks in Swakopmund questioned.

22 February 2021 | Local News

Swakopmund • Erwin Leuschner

The construction of seven outdoor fitness parks in various areas in Swakopmund should be completed by the end of this month and the use thereof is free.

“The initiative is part of the town’s recreation strategy, with facilities forming part of the master development plan for the northern beach area,” says municipal spokesperson Aili Gebhardt.

Gebhardt said that similar fitness parks would be constructed at the municipal bungalows, at Vygie Park in Ocean View, Shitaleni Park in Matutura, Hanganeni Park in Mondesa, Tamariskia Park and at the DRC sport fields. Two more fitness parks are envisaged to be built on the beach.

Every park boasts a variety of equipment and play apparatus for children, be it a seesaw or swings.

According to Gebhardt, the idea dates back to 2007. At that time, town council drafted a development plan for the so-called north beach area, which included a restaurant, a mini golf course, a fitness park, a skateboard ramp, a cactus garden, a public braai area and more.
The first phase is the construction of the fitness parks, for which an amount of N$1.5 million has been made available in the 2020/21 budget.

Criticism

“The fitness equipment looks attractive and could be useful, but it’s made of fragile material, which is hard to understand, especially when you know the terrible rust problem in Swakopmund,” the Swakopmund Residents Association (SRA) said. “These training units were undoubtedly expensive and we are confused about whether they can withstand the rust.”

According to a source, the equipment was built from ordinary structural steel, although council’s tender explicitly asked for stainless steel.

“In the tender it was clearly stated that the equipment must be made of class 305 stainless steel,” Gebhardt said. “If the construction specifications were not adhered to, it will be recorded by the procurement committee.”