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6/8/2018 11:54:00 AM
Central Park fitness court, with 30 pieces of outdoor equipment, takes shape in Mishawaka
A jogger runs by Thursday as Mishawaka Central Services employees install parts of the new fitness court at Central Park. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
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A jogger runs by Thursday as Mishawaka Central Services employees install parts of the new fitness court at Central Park. Staff photo by Michael Caterina

Joseph Dits, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer

MISHAWAKA — A sweaty Peter Mugetha finished his lunchtime run of 2.8 miles at Central Park without knowing that a small gym was rising a few feet from his truck.

The city’s Central Services crew is piecing together a wall, bars and rings that will become part of an outdoor fitness court with 30 individual pieces of exercise equipment.

“Wow, that’s good — you need a lot of them here,” Mugetha said Thursday after a reporter informed him. Since he’s a registered nurse who works with dialysis patients, he said, “I know what we’re dealing with — a lack of exercise and poor diet.”

Opening day is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 23, when representatives of the National Fitness Campaign, who is selling the equipment to the city, will give public demonstrations on how to do the exercises. The primary guide for anybody will be an app (requiring an iOS of 8.0 or higher) that you can download at nationalfitnesscampaign.com.

The San Francisco-based company also will certify staff from the city fire and police departments and the local Fleet Feet Sports store to lead free weekly fitness classes at the court on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, said Mishawaka parks Superintendent Phil Blasko.

The court is the result of a crowd-sourcing campaign where the city raised $43,170 from 88 donors this winter via Patronicity.com, to match $35,000 from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The extra $8,170 raised will go toward providing free Wi-Fi at the fitness court, saving app users on data usage, Blasko said.

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