by Nick Johnston
Soon in Leuven Editor
Under a bridge, towards the north of Leuven is a gym. It is free and open, built by hand out of recycled materials by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Originally begun in September of 2016 the Open Gym is now an impressive collection of fitness equipment, open to the public. For those who have yet to see it in all its glory, the Open Gym is having an ‘Open Door’ day on the 6th of April where it will reveal a new program of weekly courses. This event begins at 1PM, at Brandenstraat, under E314 Bridge, Wilsele. There will be music, food, and a community of folks keen on DIY and fitness.
With humble beginnings, the Open Gym successfully secured support from the city and enthusiastic volunteers of Leuven. After 2 years, impressive progress has been made. Today, one can find multiple climbing walls, benches for weightlifting, mats for callisthenics, a boxing ring, and gymnastics equipment. Built of recycled material, the existing complex of equipment offers all one needs for conditioning or strength training in a community DIY environment.
For some time now, the Open Gym has been hosting activities and collaborating with other Leuven organizations involved in fitness and the community. They have set up temporary fitness installations in various places throughout Leuven, including near Pangaea, briefly. Check online and you will see the myriad of training opportunities offered, from climbing, to boxing, to capoeira. The courses are free, in line with the principles of the Open Gym, which dedicates itself to building a welcoming community promoting fitness, open to all regardless of “background, social status, or origin.”
To make full use of its expanding sports park under the bridge, the ‘Open Door, Open Gym’ event on April 6th is an unveiling of the new spring program of training and events. For those interested, it is an opportunity to take a closer look at this unique project, meet sports trainers, have a drink, listen to their DJ mix, and witness the construction of a climbing wall in real time.
For more information, take a look online at their website and their facebook event page.