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Written by:
Paul Holland
03 May 2023

Trinity Hall students, Fellows and staff can get fit and improve their mental wellbeing with a new Trim Trail installed at the start of term.

It includes six pieces of equipment spaced around the playing fields at Wychfield site.

Outdoor exercise became particularly popular during the pandemic and the College, and generous donors, wanted to improve the opportunities for it around our sites.

Samantha Hartley, head gardener, said: “We noticed that a run round the field was a popular way to let off steam and also that quite a few residents chose to do their exercises out of doors.

“This got us thinking about combining the two. The trim trail includes apparatus for specific exercises such as sit ups and chin ups, as well as fun elements such as the rope climb and monkey bars.

“The idea is to complete all six apparatus in a circuit, but of course, you can take your pick and use them individually if you prefer.”

Dan Se using the Parallel Bars

Dan Se using the Parallel Bars

The other two pieces of equipment are parallel bars and a gate climb.

Exercise is also recognised as a good way to improve mental as well as physical wellbeing.

Jo Rhodes, College Nurse and member of the College wellbeing team, said: “Exercise helps reduce your blood pressure, which is a common symptom of stress. It also releases endorphins, which boosts your mood.

“Outdoor exercise is really good at leaving people feeling physically and mentally rejuvenated. Just 20-30 minutes can have a positive effect and exposure to natural sunlight can improve your mood and overall self-esteem.”

People’s brains have higher levels of serotonin on bright and sunny days, regardless of if it was warm or cold out. Serotonin is your body’s natural mood stabilizer, and it helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety while boosting your mood.

The Trail is open for use throughout the year. Resident members do not need to book in advance.

It was made possible through donations from alumni to the Trinity Hall fund in 2022.

The image shows Dan Se, a member of TH basketball team, using the Trim Trail.

Alumni donation pays tribute to “dear friends”

A group of alumni that specifically supported the initiative is a group of MCR members from the mid-1990s, coordinated by Lindsay Jones (1995) and Elliot Grant (1990). Lindsay said: “A group of Trinity Hall MCR Members from the mid-1990s era have contributed funding towards the construction of the Trim Trail at Wychfield in fond memory of Brother Bigsy (Dr Mark Griffiths 1994) and Brother Mozza (David Moore 1994), both of whom resided at Wychfield during their time at the Hall and each of whom were enthusiastic sportsmen who represented the College and the University with distinction.

Bigsy and Mozza were incredibly dear friends to our group who have left us far too soon, and we are delighted that we can do something in their honour that also benefits the College that we all hold dear in our hearts.”