Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke went to the gym yesterday to see how a grant has improved health and wellbeing for the community.

Hard Rock Gym in Harden, which is part of the community support program Zac’s Place, received $13,356 as part of the community projects which benefited from the funding associated with the Hilltops Council merger.

“I love coming to this gym because not only does it provide a place for people to improve their physical fitness, it also acts as a social hub for the Harden community,” Ms Cooke said.

“Feeling a part of a wider community is essential to mental health and wellbeing, so the combination of physical and emotional wellness which this gym provides means it’s an invaluable part of Harden.

“The funding has provided upgrades to the gym studio doors, which means they provide flexibility in creating separate spaces for different activities in the one building.

“The grant has also enabled installation of an air conditioning system, which means the gym will always be at the most comfortable temperature for exercise and workouts,” Ms Cooke added.

Glenn Stewart, who runs the gym along with his wife Ros, said the air conditioning system would not only create a more comfortable environment, it will also help retain users.

“There were a few user groups here such as the karate group and the mums and bubs group, and the air conditioning will make a huge difference for them,” he said.

“There’s karate on tonight and it’s already nice and cool in there, ready to go – it would otherwise get uncomfortable quickly and we’d lose numbers quickly as well.

“And with the doors, it’s easier to hold two classes at once and control the noise levels in either room,” he added.