20 May 2020

Swimmers and fitness fans can now return to their regular workouts, with online bookings core to a safety-focused environment at the Christchurch City Council’s Recreation and Sport Centres.

Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox says online bookings are essential to a safe return to swimming pools and fitness centres.

“While our Recreation and Sport Centres are open, we want to remind people that there are health and safety restrictions in place,” Mr Cox says.

“We need to ensure that we manage numbers to meet physical distancing requirements and avoid long waits for centre users,” he says.

Key points for centre visits:

• If you feel unwell, please stay at home.

• Some facilities will not be available.

• Check the Recreation and Sport Centre website and FAQs for updates.

• You may have to wait before entering.

• Use hand sanitiser on entry.

• You will need to sign in.

• You must maintain a two-metre distance from others, including staff.

• Screens may be in place at some counters.

• Some items will not be available for hire.

• Bring your own towel, goggles, drink bottle and workout mat.

 “People are encouraged to arrive up to 10 minutes before their session and be ready to swim or workout as the showers remain off-limits. Towels and goggles are not available for hire. We have also introduced a contact tracing system and opted for a ‘cashless’ approach, installing payWave at each centre or accepting eftpos.”

Jellie Park, Taiora QEII and Ngā Puna Wai are fully open, along with the Graham Condon fitness centre and sports halls.

However, the Graham Condon pools reopen on 25 May.

While the Pioneer pools and group fitness programmes are available, the fitness centre will reopen later this month following roof and ventilation system upgrades.

All spas, saunas, wave pools, lazy rivers and hydroslides remain closed under Alert Level 2.

“People can make the most of multiple pool and fitness session bookings, with bookings open up to seven days ahead,” Mr Cox says.

“So far, people are just happy to return to their normal routine, see their workout buddies and enjoy a different environment other than their lounge or backyard.”

Group fitness instructors will also live-stream several regular workouts from the centres for those opting to stay home.

“The response to our online fitness classes has been remarkable, so we will continue to offer digital workouts until the end of June,” he says.

There have been nearly 320,000 views of the online classes within about seven weeks.

“We also understand that some people who hold memberships may not want to return to centres straight away and we will continue to offer various options to freeze or extend your membership, along with extending concession card use.”

Vigorous cleaning protocols and regular disinfection of all centre spaces are integral to the health and safety process.

“Staff will continuously monitor pool and fitness areas, checking that people have plenty of space to get their fitness fix,” Mr Cox says.

Staff are sanitising each centre by using a barrier spray, ensuring a protective surface. They are also regularly cleaning touch points. Hand sanitiser is available, along with a plant-based product, Biozyme, so that people can wipe down any equipment after use.