The London 2012 Olympics Are Just One Year Away. We Report On A Green Way To Keep Fit

Tony Rollinson
Wednesday, 27th July 2011

Today it is one year to the day until the Olympics begin. Our press and media are full of stories about the Olympic venues, Olympic park, Olympic tickets and Olympic mascot. But, what about the Olympic YOU!? Well, we take an alternative, green, view of what we can each do to join in with the Olympic spirit.

There are of course many natural ways to keep fit besides aiming to be a London 2012 Olympic athlete – as permaculturists we may already see our own gardening as a very natural way to be healthy. But, what if you want to do a bit more, if you want to give a bit more?

Well, in the current issue of Permaculture we perhaps present that next level. The BTCV's Green Gym initiative is an inclusive community project which embraces the permaculture principles of earth care and people care in a big way. It certainly seems to be catching on across London and beyond.

Since 2006 the Green Gym programme has aimed to provide people with a way to enhance their fitness and health while taking action to improve the outdoor environment. It can be seen as enabling people to get fit who would not normally attend a conventional gym or sports centre.

When the project began there were 55 projects across the UK with an estimated 6,000 people taking part. Over the past five years these numbers have expanded to over over 100 projects and over 15,000 people.

The uptake on the projects in London is particularly impressive. This year three new Green Gyms have begun in the Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham and Waltham Forest. With so many permaculture influenced groups now in London it is great to think that in its own way the green movement is involved with our home Games. It is also encouraging that many of those making a difference to their own health and the environment around them will not be costing the earth in terms of resources or traveling to and from the Olympics. Now, that has to be a winner.

To find a Green Gym near you visit this link, there are groups right across the UK.