Auckland Council’s Parks and Facilities team and GymGuru, a Kiwi company that makes outdoor gym equipment, have been working together for two years testing and refining GymGuru’s equipment to provide Aucklanders with a fun, safe and free way to get fitter.
GymGuru’s products, including elliptical cross trainers, stationary bikes and seated overhead presses, employ a unique resistance technology, developed with the help of the government’s commercialisation hub Callaghan Innovation. To date, equipment has been installed in six parks, including Bramley Drive Reserve at Farm Cove and Logan Carr Reserve in Howick, and there are plans to roll it out to other parks in the region.
Brett Forsyth, GymGuru’s managing director, says the company’s strong relationship with Auckland Council has been crucial in helping the company reach this stage and because it has come so far, so fast, GymGuru is now on the verge of signing a global licensing deal with a large European partner.
“Positive feedback from users and local council representatives has been instrumental in developing the product and boosting its commercial appeal. We simply couldn’t have got here without their support.”
Unable to say more at this stage, Brett says he’s confident the deal will be signed before the end of the year.
GymGuru’s point of difference is its equipment can be used by any
person, regardless of their age, body type or physical condition. The European company was alerted to the innovation behind Auckland’s outdoor gyms after one of its employees visited in late 2013. “Thanks to New Zealand’s diverse weather conditions and sporty demographic, its parks are the ideal training ground to develop and test this equipment,” says Brett. “All the equipment is also low maintenance and very durable, so we’re confident it can withstand any conditions worldwide.”
The fact that GymGuru’s products are all New Zealand designed and manufactured is another plus as the European partner is keen to ensure it’s sourcing long-life, quality products.
For many Aucklanders the six free outdoor gyms form an integral part of their overall fitness programme, as well as encouraging people who wouldn’t normally commit to a physical workout to try something new, says Brett.
“Community decision-makers understand that preventative costs are much lower than public healthcare costs, and our technology provides ratepayers with important facilities which might not normally be accessible to them.”