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Knickerbacker Park in Lansingburgh now home to new MVP Health Care Fitness Court

There was a grand opening Tuesday for an outdoor fitness court in Troy.

The new MVP Health Care Fitness Court at Knickerbacker Park is billed as “a free, open-air wellness center that allows users to leverage their own body weight to get a complete workout.” Created with adults of all ages and abilities in mind, the facility will allow users of all fitness levels to move at their own pace, according to Democratic Troy Mayor Patrick Madden.

"The first of four in the city of Troy two locations we are opening today," Madden said. "This this one here and one in Prospect Park which is on the Hill heading toward the east side of Troy. Use of these sites is completely free to the public within walking and biking distance for many of our residents in north central LansingburgH hillside neighborhood. The Prospect Park site is equally accessible to those downtown, in Little Italy and on the east side."

The court includes 30 pieces of state-of-the-art equipment, set up so users can move through seven elements: core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend. There's also a free fitness app to use along with the equipment.

Free fitness classes begin next month at the Lansingburgh court, led by Certified Personal Trainer Sarah James:

"I'm excited to be able to be here in open air in a facility like this that is open and accessible to everyone," James said. "One of my values and mission statements is being able to provide quality, instruction, quality health to all, and I think that it's an important first step to be able to be here in a place that has access to the local communities. You can find us right here right here sweating and getting it in on Thursday evenings from 5:15-6:00 PM, starting August 11 and going through through September for five weeks.

James advises those interested to bring water and wear comfortable, breathable exercise clothing and sneakers.

Madden expects the fitness court will address health inequities.

"Earlier this year, we released our parks improvement master plan which details long term goals for many of our community parks and open spaces," Madden said. "Over the next two years we aim to invest over $3 million in our parks system here in Troy. Our new fitness courts will help support that master plan."

Nine such courts are being built in the Capital Region. Stacey Barss is Leader of Field Marketing with MVP Health Care, which has been a WAMC underwriter.

"The total cost of the MVP Health Care fitness court is $130,000, said Barss. "Between the national fitness campaign and MVP health care we contributed about $50,000 to the project, and then the city of Troy, use the remaining funds from federal grant funding and other budgeted areas to complete the project."

The Knickerbacker Park Fitness Court in Lansingburgh is adjacent to the parking lot and playground entrance at 103rd street and 8th avenue.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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