One of the lockers in question, Source: Dublin City Council

Dublin makes practicing sports easy with free shared equipment

Dublin makes practicing sports easy with free shared equipment

The BoxUp lockers are mushrooming across Ireland

As of this month, Dubliners have access to sports equipment, such as basketballs, tennis and squash rackets and weights – and all free of charge – thanks to special public lockers installed in some of the parks.

The locker project is part of the Active Cities initiative, which aims to inspire citizens to get off their couches and enjoy the possibilities and benefits of doing various sports. The solution comes from a Swiss company called BoxUp, which puts up easy-to-identify lockers with transparent doors.

Each of the boxes contains sports items that can be used for free. The lockers include equipment that matches the sports amenities in their surroundings.

In order to open the lockers, all the residents need to do is download an app, which unlocks the locker. The app also registers when the item has been returned and thus it can generate logs for the usage rates of the equipment. That kind of information is especially valued by the authorities so they can see if their initiative is gaining popularity locally.

No more sports inequality

The solar-powered boxes and the idea for shared sports equipment were first developed in Switzerland, from where it has also spread to France. This summer, it’s also arrived in Ireland thanks to the National Active Cities working group.

The initiative has partnered 8 Irish Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) with their respective local authorities in order to provide free sports equipment for the residents. Apart from Dublin, the participating cities are Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

In taking a multi-sectoral approach, the project is seeking to reduce the barriers to participation in physical activity, increase access and enhance the choice and opportunities available for all to take part. 



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