Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross), City of Malden, Malden Public Schools and National Fitness Campaign (NFC) today announced a partnership to bring an outdoor Fitness Court and community wellness programming to Callahan Park. The Fitness Court, located at 32 Pearl Street opened on Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Callahan Park, one of the City of Malden’s 30 parks, was selected for its optimal location, easily accessible by public transportation, walking, biking, or driving. Malden High School is less than one mile from the new Fitness Court location, with Macdonald Stadium located right next door.
This Fitness Court was developed by Blue Cross, City of Malden, Malden Public Schools and NFC to expand free access to high quality workouts and create equitable access to exercise for students, local residents and visitors. Approximately 50,615 Malden residents will now be within walking or cycling distance of the Fitness Court, the world’s best outdoor gym, that lets people use their own body weight to get a complete workout using seven exercise stations.
Created with people aged 14 and over and with all abilities in mind, the workouts are adaptable for all fitness levels, allowing participants to move at their own pace. Users also may download the free Fitness Court App which acts as a coach-in-your-pocket and enhances the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness experience.
“Blue Cross is committed to helping people live healthy lives and eliminating the physical and social barriers that lead to health disparities,” said Jeff Bellows, vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We’re proud to partner with NFC, City of Malden and Malden Public Schools to launch a Fitness Court that will provide Malden residents a communal gathering space and access to premiere free outdoor fitness opportunities.”
Malden is one of 15 outdoor Fitness Courts in a series of Blue Cross Fitness Courts that are currently open or will be constructed in easily accessible public spaces this year. Blue Cross' sponsorship of NFC is part of the company's strengthened corporate citizenship commitment to promote health justice in communities across the Commonwealth. Over the next five years, Blue Cross will provide $16 million in grants and volunteer support to not-for-profits working to address food, environmental and racial justice in Massachusetts communities. This work supports the company's overall pledge to be a leader in addressing health inequities across the Commonwealth.
Mayor Gary Christenson said, “If there is one thing I have realized now that Malden has many great restaurants is that I need an area to work it off so I can maintain my frenetic pace that I keep as Mayor and the addition of this outdoor Fitness Court will help do that for me.”
“National Fitness Campaign is proud to welcome the City of Malden to the campaign as a leader in Massachusetts, championing health and wellness for their residents and students alike” said Mitch Menaged, founder of NFC. “We are proud to continue our mission of getting people moving outdoors and helping communities combat the fiscal and humanitarian costs of inactivity.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.org) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to the relentless pursuit of quality, affordable and equitable health care with an unparalleled consumer experience. Consistent with our promise to always put our members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Founded in San Francisco in 1979, (NFC) is a wellness consulting firm that provides programs and services to cities, schools and sponsors with the mission to build healthy communities. NFC delivers an integrated wellness initiative, centered on the world’s best outdoor gym: The Fitness Court®. The Campaign is planning its 500th Healthy Community, uniting the country’s largest public-private partnership in support of wellness with the goal of building a Fitness Court within a 10-minute bike ride of every American. Follow us on social media @NatFitCampaign and #Fitnesscourt.
Pictured: Members of Blue Cross, City of Malden, Malden Public Schools and National Fitness Campaign with (holding ribbon from left) Police Chief Glenn Cronin, City Councillors Jadeane Sica and Paul Condon, Recreation Director Joe Levine, Mayor Gary Christenson and (far right) Fire Chief Steve Froio