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Monday, 17 March, 2014

This March saw the launch of brand new fitness concept - Our Parks. Our Parks provides access to free, group exercise classes in a park near you. Harnessing the power of the latest technologies, Our Parks allows users to book onto a variety of classes online, and attend using their barcode app as well as measure and monitor their fitness and mood, all for free.

Our Parks is the brainchild of the East London born and bred technology entrepreneur Born Barikor who is CEO of Our Parks Ltd. It was whilst the former athlete was employed as a Sports Development Officer that he realised he had the solution to overcome the three biggest hurdles we all face when wanting to participate in exercise:

  1. Finding a class
  2. Convenience
  3. Cost

Working for a Local Authority, trying to engage people in sports initiatives, that were often fully funded by the borough, people just wouldn’t know what was available to them. They would worry that they would have to travel long distances and  that it would be too expensive, when in fact, often none of these were true’ says Barikor.

Our Parks combats all of these issues by providing a state of the art website, that is mobile and tablet friendly, where you can see all classes, which are colour coded to indicate the level of intensity, available in your area. The website allows you to simply book your place online and most importantly, attend classes for free. Site users can interact with their fellow classmates and coaches and also incorporates tools such as BMI and Mood calculators designed to incentives users. Classes are funded by the local authority as part of their Sporting and Health Agendas.

Barikor explains: ‘Several academic studies have shown (and I know from personal experience) that people achieve far greater results when they exercise outdoors when compared to the gym. This combined with the vast amount of investment our local parks have had means it is now the ideal time to get more people outside using and benefiting from these green, healthy spaces at the heart of our communities’.

The pilot was backed by the Sports and Leisure team at Waltham Forest Council, headed up by Joyce Guthrie, who came on board as the Our Parks Development Partner. The business has received seed funding from private stakeholders who have invested in the scalability of this platform and community.

Over 350 users signed up in the first week to participate in classes including Yoga, Circuit, Bootcamp, Tots Tennis, Buggy Fit, Athlefit, Tai Chi, Family Fit, Junior Football, Run Fit, Basketball, Gym Fit, Cardio Tennis, Parkour and Park Walk. All classes are taught by qualified coaches from the Our Parks coaching database.
Barikor states ‘It is my ambition to motivate as many people as possible into taking part in and most importantly, enjoying sport and exercise. We have designed the website technology and class programme to be accessible and to suit everyone with classes aimed at singles, couples, children and families in the week and at weekends.’

The pilot scheme in Waltham Forest, will run for 40 weeks across 4 parks (Leyton Jubilee, Langthorne, Lloyd and Ridgeway Parks) and will be rolled out in neighbouring boroughs over the coming months.

To register your interest and start booking on classes, visit the website
Email: Twitter: @OurParksUK Facebook: /OurParks


For further information and press enquiries, please contact Born Barikor: 07903 017 77807903 017 778

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