Priority Health and National Fitness Campaign bring outdoor Fitness Court in heart of River Rouge, bringing neighbors equitable access to exercise

July 18, 2023
NFC Media Contact
Lindsay Valenti 596-3944
Partner Media Contact
Kelsey Pardue

(RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – July 18, 2023) Thousands of River Rouge residents now have access to free exercise through a newly opened Priority Health Fitness Court® located in the heart of the city at Memorial Park. The City of River Rouge; Priority Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan; and the National Fitness Campaign (NFC), held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 18 to officially open the new Fitness Court.

The opening was made possible through a statewide partnership between Priority Health and NFC to expand free access to high-quality workouts and create equitable access to exercise for communities. The Fitness Court is an open-air wellness center that allows users to leverage their own body weight to get a complete workout.

“At Priority Health, we believe that all people deserve the opportunity to live a healthy life, and that is why we are committed to supporting this partnership to reduce the barriers and increase access to free fitness and improve wellness in neighborhoods like River Rouge,” said Dwayne Judson, manager of sales at Priority Health. “Celebrating the River Rouge Priority Health Fitness Court today reminds us that we have a responsibility to support the well-being of the people in this community, and together we can go further toward improving the health care of all.”

Created with adults of all ages in mind, the Fitness Court is adaptable for all fitness levels. It can also be used in group or solo settings with local volunteer ambassadors leading classes for groups. New and solo users can also download the free Fitness Court App — a coach-in-your-pocket style platform — that transforms the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness ecosystem. The Fitness Court App is available for iOS and Android.

William L. Campbell, mayor of River Rouge, said: “Today was an excellent turnout. Leaders from the city and Priority Health did a great job putting this event together. I’m proud to have everyone here in our community, and we’re happy to be here for our residents. I’m hoping we can continue to create a positive difference for River Rouge."

Funding from the City of River Rouge and additional support and grant funding from DTE helped make the project possible.

There are currently more than a dozen Priority Health Fitness Courts across Michigan, including Detroit, Madison Heights, Highland Park and Saginaw.

With 5,410 active users in 2022, it's estimated that over 33.8 million calories and 9,660 pounds are burned in one year on the Priority Health Fitness Court network. Priority Health and NFC will open at least 30 additional Fitness Courts by the end of 2025.

Priority Health’s mission in this partnership is to increase access to free, high-quality exercise for all people – including those with disabilities. NFC developed the trademarked seven-station system in 2012 to inspire municipalities to transform public spaces into community fitness hubs.

“National Fitness Campaign is proud to welcome the city of River Rouge to the campaign as a leader in Michigan, championing health and wellness for residents” said Mitch Menaged, founder of NFC. “We are proud to continue our mission of getting people moving outdoors and helping communities combat the fiscal and humanitarian costs of inactivity.”


About Priority Health:
With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering an extensive portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than one million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health.

About National Fitness Campaign:
Founded in San Francisco in 1979, National Fitness Campaign (NFC) is a wellness consulting firm that provides programs and services to cities, schools and sponsors with the mission to build healthy communities. NFC delivers an integrated wellness initiative, centered on the world’s best outdoor gym: The Fitness Court®. The Campaign is planning its 500th Healthy Community, uniting the country’s largest public-private partnership in support of wellness with the goal of building a Fitness Court within a 10-minute bike ride of every American. Follow us on social media @NatFitCampaign and #FitnessCourt.