Jackson County unveils one-of-a-kind fitness facility

Jackson County unveils one-of-a-kind fitness facility

ST. MARTIN, Miss. (WLOX) - A unique Challenge Course opened Friday at the West Jackson County Soccer Complex in St. Martin. It is not only the first in the state but the first in the region.

“This is the first Challenge Course in Mississippi, and the first one on the I-10 corridor within about 200 miles, Florida to Texas,” said Jackson County District 4 Supervisor Troy Ross.

The Challenge Course is modeled after the American Ninja Warrior television show. It will give children and adults the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and work to improve their times. It was locally designed by Compton Engineering and built by Greater Gulf Development. It features a combination of aerobic, strength, core balance and flexibility challenges. It also has a section to check your time in the 40-yard dash.

It has been recognized as a PlayCore National Demonstration Site.

“Improving quality of life and health is very important to Jackson County and the Board of Supervisors and the Recreation Department,” said county recreation director Darcie Crew. “And so giving another opportunity where people can come out and exercise and get fit is one of our goals.

“We continue to build upon the athletic training and events that go on at this facility as well as having something different for Jackson County,” she said.

Ross said the county wanted to do something with the land that had once been the site of an elementary school before being leveled by Hurricane Katrina. Making an athletic facility was a natural for the land.

The idea for the Challenge course came from “talking to groups like the YMCA and Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 who have a goal of bringing kids out and getting them active, helping Mississippi lose weight and become healthier,” Ross said.

The challenge course is just the latest addition to the 30-acre facility.

“Right now we have two large full soccer fields, we’re going to have four,” Ross said. “We have the challenge course, two dog parks are on the way, one for large dogs, one for small dogs and a walking track for parents while the kids are playing.”

A $584,000 restroom and concession building was completed last year.

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