A GROUP of volunteers in Ararat have kicked off the Fit and Healthy Festival, which aims to get the community involved in physical and mental health activities.
The Fit 'n' Healthy, Mind 'n' Body group will run events across the next three months for the community, including yoga, run coaching, parkrun, mature age personal training, and health workshops.
Organiser Tricia Ruthven said the events will either be free of charge or significantly subsidized.
Ms Ruthven said "the town had moved on since the days of The Biggest Loser" and the organisers wanted to create a healthy, affordable lifestyle that welcomed everyone, irrespective of age, gender, or experience.
"There's more to health than size," Ms Ruthven said.
"We're trying to go away from just losing weight. It doesn't matter how rich or poor, fat or thin - it's for everyone."
The festival held a launch last Saturday at the regular parkrun event at Alexandra Gardens.
Parkrun meets every Saturday at Alexandra Gardens:
Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Tim Harrison also attended, and gave participants an update on upgrades currently underway for the gardens.
The installation of lighting in the gardens is one of those projects, and a timeline is currently being worked out for on-ground works to begin.
The tender was recently been awarded to local contractor SHS Civil.
"The contractor needs to order poles and other fittings for the project and that order will take a while to fulfill," Dr Harrison said.
"Council will make sure we keep the community and key users, such as parkrun and the café, updated on when work on the project will start and when the contractor expects to finish."
Dr Harrison said council representatives would visit the gardens over the coming weeks to give parkrun participants and the café an update on the project.
Ms Ruthven said anyone wanting more information could follow the Fit 'n' Healthy, Mind 'n' Body Facebook page.
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