Proposed Challenger Course in the works for Ferguson

FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – It would be a first for Ferguson and the St. Louis area.

A plan is in the works to build a free obstacle course geared toward teens. Supporters say it’s a chance for young people to have fun, as well as gain valuable life lessons.

Victoria Babb with the Play 4 All Campaign said her most recent project a playground at the Ferguson Community Center was a big success. Babb raised the necessary $30,000 in two days and brought volunteers to help assemble the project.

In the coming days, outdoor fitness equipment will be unveiled.

“People can come out and exercise for free,” she said.

It doesn’t end there. Babb and others are hoping to get the green light for a challenger course.

“It’s an obstacle course. And the reason why it’s so popular and so crucial is that it targets youth,” Babb said. “Kids who turn 12 and 13, they age out of playgrounds. It’s not cool anymore to play on a playground. But it is cool to play on an obstacle course.”

Popular TV shows like “American Ninja Warrior” have made obstacle courses a bit hit, particularly among young people, Babb said. The courses do more than entertain and keep teens active.

“They can psychologically help them scale over barriers in life. Where they say, “You know what? I can’t get it this time but I’m going to keep trying to get it next time,’” Babb said.

Ferguson’s mayor agreed a challenger course could fill the void for area teens.

“From what I hear from a lot of young people, is they feel that in that age, often times they’re forgotten about,” he said. “Where are you at those critical teenage years where you want to go out and do something? Your mind is changing; your body is changing. You want to do something productive.”

Babb said she would go through the same process as she did for the playground. She said designs need to be finalized and approved. Eventually, she said, she will sit with potential investors and later, there will be a community-wide campaign.