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Coronavirus update: 16th July

We were delighted to hear last week’s positive Government announcement that indoor sports and fitness facilities can reopen from 25th July and we wanted to provide an update for all our members and customers.

With all the preparation that the Government guidelines require we won’t be re-opening on 25th July and we will let you know a confirmed date as soon as we can.

Since our last update on 29th June, we have been putting all the right guidance and procedures in place to allow the sport facilities to reopen as soon as possible. Considerable progress has been made, including a deep clean of facilities, development of Safety Operating Procedures, updated risk assessments and new signage throughout the facilities. Supporting the health, wellbeing and safety of our customers is at the forefront of all our preparatory work ahead of opening, and we are implementing guidance from the Government, National Governing Bodies of sport, and the wider University to have everything in place.

As of 16th July both the main campus and Teddington Lock campus remain closed, however our aim is to be able to support physical activity as soon as possible. The sport facilities and programmes will reopen once we are confident that all necessary guidelines have been met and we will be adopting a phased approach to ensure we supply the safe, high-quality experience that all customers would expect.

Fitness and Conditioning Suite (Gym)

We wanted to make you aware of some of the changes in the Fitness and Conditioning Suite that you will notice when we reopen. These include:

  • A booking system to help manage the number of members and the removal of certain equipment to keep physical distancing
  • Asking our members to come to the facilities changed and ready, and to shower at home where possible. If you can’t do so we will advise you of the procedures we will have in place.
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning our equipment, weights, and surfaces
  • Asking members to help support high standards of cleanliness by cleaning any equipment they use

As per our earlier communication, all memberships have been frozen from the date of our closure (20th March). This means that any days lost due to the closure will simply be added to your membership once we reopen.

SIMMSport: 2020 Holiday Camps

Please note: For the latest update on our SIMMSport 2020 Camps, please see our SIMMSport Camps update from 29th July.

Following our most recent COVID-19 update on 29th June, the Government confirmed on 1st July that summer camp activities can safely go ahead, in line with the proper guidance.

In anticipation that summer camps could restart we were already reviewing and preparing the plans and coordination needed to support the children to have a fun and safe experience. A great deal of work goes into our normal delivery of SIMMSport camps, and we are quickly working towards meeting all the enhanced requirements. We are confident that we will be able to deliver activities later in the summer, however there is still a significant amount of work that needs to be completed before we can confirm this. To support children taking part the prices for camps will remain at the 2019 level, and subject to final confirmation, it is intended that the first camp will start on the 3rd August.

To allow us to develop our plans, we are inviting parents/guardians to express their interest for their children to take part in camps. This will help us to assess demand and plan accordingly. Priority for bookings will be offered to those who complete the form, and we are asking parents to do so before 24th July if possible. We appreciate this is a short turnaround, but this reflects the tight timeline that we are working to have everything in place.

Please note that to allow us to adhere to Government guidance on ensuring young people remain in the same groups (bubbles) throughout the day, parents will only be able to register their child in blocks of one week and day bookings will not be possible. Camp capacity will also be significantly reduced compared to previous years to allow us to meet social distancing guidelines.

We will communicate a final decision on the running of SIMMSport camps by 29th July.

Sport facility bookings and SIMMSport weekly sessions

We are currently receiving a high number of enquiries about the booking of sport facilities and for SIMMSport weekly sessions for September onwards. Ordinarily we would want to promptly confirm bookings, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic the University is understandably revisiting the academic timetabling, to support social distancing and all other necessary requirements for teaching and learning in this new context.

Once this process has been completed, we will know if there are any outcomes that could potentially change delivery in the sport facilities. In the meantime, we will continue to work with customers to put provisional planning in place, and we hope to soon be able to confirm bookings. We understand the importance of these sporting activities and want to thank you for your understanding and patience on this matter.

Please note, that it is absolutely our intention to run SIMMSport weekly sessions, and that all children who had a SIMMSplitz and/or SIMMSAthletics place between January and May 2020, will be offered the opportunity to renew their membership, prior to places being offered to those on waiting lists.

If you wish to join the waiting list for weekly SIMMSport sessions, please contact us at simmsport@stmarys.ac.uk.

We are really looking forward to welcoming you back to the sport facilities and programmes soon and supporting our customers to remain fit, healthy, and active.

We will continue to keep everyone updated and if you have any questions in the meantime, please contact us at sportsvillage@stmarys.ac.uk.