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Coronavirus update: 11th January

Following the recent move from Tier 4 to the latest national lockdown, the increased restrictions mean that no grassroots sport, including children’s sport, is currently permitted. Unfortunately, we have to confirm that the return of all SIMMSport sessions is postponed until further notice. 

When sessions can recommence, we will restart with the four weeks of sessions that were postponed due to the previous national lockdown in November. The health and safety of everyone involved will remain our top priority, and we will continue to keep up to date with the latest government and National Governing Body guidelines to ensure that our return to activities is in line with these and is as soon and safe as possible. 

We know how important staying physically active is for the young people who attend our SIMMSport sessions, and we would encourage you to keep utilising the excellent resources available on the British Gymnastics and England Athletics websites (links below) to support the children to remain safe and active. Good resources are also available on the Sport England website to help you and your families stay active within the current guidelines.

If you have any questions at all, please contact simmsport@stmarys.ac.uk. Several Sport St Mary’s staff are currently furloughed so it may take us longer than usual to respond - please bear with us. 

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back safely soon. In the meantime, we hope that you all remain safe, active and well.

Following the Government's announcement on Monday 23rd November that sport and leisure facilities are permitted to reopen at the end of the current lockdown period, Sport St Mary’s is pleased to be able to confirm the following:

Fitness and Conditioning (F&C) Suite and Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track

The F&C Suite and Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track will be open from 7am on Wednesday 2nd December.
Members will be able to book sessions from Sunday 29th November in advance of the reopening date. Please book sessions using the online booking system.

The facilities will be open at the following times:

  • Monday - Friday: 7am-9.30pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: 8am-5pm

We will continue to operate 1-hour sessions, followed by 30-minute cleaning periods, as well retaining maximum capacities in both areas – 8 within the Free Weights area and 10 within the CV / Resistance area. We also continue to ask all members to maintain social distancing when moving around the facility, to clean all equipment used, and to follow all the necessary guidance to help keep everybody safe.

For all members, the total number of days for which we were closed (or the days left on your membership, if it expired during this period) will be added to your membership. If you pay for your membership with a monthly continuous card payment the next scheduled payment date will be 15th December.

Student memberships

In light of the Government requirement that all University teaching will move online by 9th December, student F&C memberships will be frozen again from 10th December. Any student wishing to access the F&C Suite and Track from 10th December should contact sportsvillage@stmarys.ac.uk to reactivate your membership.

Tennis and badminton court hire

In addition, we’re pleased to let you know our indoor tennis and badminton courts on the main campus are now available to book for casual tennis at various days and times during the week.

Indoor tennis bookings can be made from tomorrow and badminton court bookings can be made from Tuesday via our online booking system.

Please note, in line with the recent local Tier 2 restrictions for London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, this now means up that indoor sport can take place within households as before, but people will also now be able to play Tennis and Badminton, which does not involve close proximity or physical contact against one person from another household.

Christmas closure

St Mary’s University will be closed from Monday 21st December to Sunday 3rd January inclusive. Therefore, the last session in F&C suite before Christmas will be on Sunday 20th December at 4pm and the first session after Christmas will be Monday 4th January at 7am.

If you wish to discuss your membership, or booking of tennis or badminton courts, please get in touch via sportsvillage@stmarys.ac.uk or call 0208 240 4334.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience and we look forward to welcoming you back to Sport St Mary’s very soon.

Best wishes
Sport St Mary’s

Following the government announcement that England is to go into lockdown from the 5th November - 2nd December, all gyms and leisure centres are being required to temporarily close between these dates.

To contribute to the national effort to combat COVID-19, all local community use of the University’s sport facilities will be suspended between 21:30 on the 4th November until the 2nd December.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, especially after all the hard work that has gone into local clubs safely resuming their sports. Please be reassured that we will keep all your current bookings in place and once community sport can resume again, we look forward to welcoming you and your members safely back to Sport St Mary’s.

Student, alumni, staff and community memberships

Whilst the Suite and the Track are required to remain closed, all memberships will automatically be frozen from Thursday 5th November. This means that the days we are closed for, or the days that you have left on your membership (if it expires during this period), will be added to your membership once we reopen in 4 weeks’ time.

If you pay for your membership with a monthly continuous card payment your membership will also be frozen, and no further payments will be taken whilst we have to be closed. As we close on 5 November, the ten days lost from this date until the next scheduled payment date (15 November) will also be added once we re-open.

Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we continue to work through a phased re-opening of the sport facilities. The safety and health of our customers is our priority and we are looking forward to seeing you and welcoming you back.

Take care and best wishes,
Sport St Mary’s

We are delighted to announce that the Fitness and Conditioning Suite (F&C Suite) and the Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track will be operating again for existing and new members from Tuesday 1st September, as part of our phased reopening of the sport facilities.

The health and safety of all users is our number one priority and we have been putting all the necessary measures in place, in line with Government and industry guidance, to deliver a safe, reopening of our facilities. At the same time, we want to continue to provide a friendly and welcoming environment for all customers, to support them to be active and healthy.  

A key part of these changes is the introduction of a new online booking system, which will help us support social distancing and manage the number of members using the F&C Suite and the Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track. The booking system will enable members to plan ahead, and you will be able to book one hour slots from three days in advance.

Instructions on how to start using these facilities and book through the new system will be communicated to our members next week. But, ahead of this we wanted to share details of the steps we have taken to keep our valued members safe and healthy, and what you can expect to see at Sport St Mary’s when you return next month.

F&C Suite

In order to implement the necessary new operating procedures and cleaning regimes, in this initial phase the facility will reopen for slightly reduced hours on weekdays from 7am-9pm and from 8am-5pm at weekends.

Set out below are the new changes you can expect to see on site and the steps we will be asking all members to follow in order to help protect the health of fellow customers.

  • Setting capacity in the F&C Suite in line with industry guidance; 11 people in total – 6 in the CV/resistance machine area and 5 within the free weight area at any one time.
  • Operating specific one-hour (60 minute) sessions throughout the day, followed by a 30 minute cleaning period before the next users start
  • Removing or decommissioning certain equipment to maintain social distancing
  • Maximising ventilation in all areas of our F&C Suite to ensure the circulation air
  • Placing additional staff on the F&C Suite floor during the day to help and assist members
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning our equipment, weights, and surfaces
  • Placing hand sanitiser points within the F&C Suite
  • Clear signage in place throughout the F&C Suite to remind customers to follow facility and Government guidance
  • Providing on-going training for all our staff on our new ways of operating, to ensure both customer and staff safety is always a priority

What we will be asking our members to do differently;

  • Book your session online in advance through our new booking system.
  • Arrive five minutes before the booked session and wait outside before checking in at reception – this will enable us to implement our ‘track and trace’ policy
  • Come to the facilities changed and ready, and to shower at home where possible
  • Maintain social distancing within the F&C Suite and work a minimum of two machines apart.
  • Wash your hands before starting your session.
  • Help support high standards of cleanliness by cleaning any equipment they use

Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track

The track on the main campus will be also be available for members to use from 1st September, initially for running activity only with members being able to book specific one-hour (60 minute) sessions throughout the week via our new online booking system.

In order to provide a safe facility for everyone to use, we will be asking all users to;

  • Book in advance using our online booking system
  • Arrive five minutes before their session to check in with reception prior to using the track
  • Follow current England Athletics guidance and train as an individual or as two household units, with a maximum of six people at any one time.

Fitness Classes and No Strings Badminton

As per our previous communications, we are aiming to restart the facilities in a phased fashion so that we can get everything that’s needed in place and build delivery back up.

Unfortunately, we are not yet able to operate fitness classes or No Strings Badminton sessions. We realise that these activities are popular with our members and we are working hard to find a way to operate these sessions and will provide further updates in due course.

Sport facility bookings: indoor facilities and outdoor pitches

We appreciate that our regular local community users are keen to return as soon as possible, and as National Governing Body (NGB) guidelines allow. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the University is continuing to revisit the academic timetable, and the sport facilities that will be required to deliver academic programmes safely and appropriately.

Our Sport Operations Team are continuing to work with our local community customers to put provisional plans in place regarding the resumption of activity, and we hope to soon be able to confirm bookings. We understand the importance of these sporting activities to clubs, schools and organisations and want to thank you for your understanding and patience on this matter.

It is important that all external customers’ activity is delivered in accordance with current Government and NGB guidance. All external users will need to complete revised Risk Assessments and follow all facility guidance, including capacities. Our Sport Operations Team are working to support customers to ensure the Risk Assessments are completed and all necessary measures are in place.

Please be assured that all the steps being taken are to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our users.  Thank you for your continued patience and understanding whilst we work through the complexities of reopening all facilities safely and appropriately.

If you are interested in joining and using the facilities, please contact sportsvillage@stmarys.ac.uk or call 0208 240 4334 to speak to a member of our team to discuss membership options.

We look forward to welcoming our existing members back into the F&C Suite and onto the Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track.