Derry City and Strabane District Council has announced that new members are now welcome at four of its main leisure facilities as part of its phased return to leisure services.
From Friday September 4th fitness memberships will be accepted for gyms at Foyle Arena, Templemore, Derg Valley and Riversdale. New members can sign up online from today, Wednesday September 2nd with gym induction slots now available to book online.
Gyms have been open since August with limited capacity for existing members only due to social distancing restrictions. Over 50 classes are now on offer with a number of restrictions in place for gym users, and all classes must be booked in advance. Council has taken a gradual phased approach in its return to leisure service delivery to ensure all health and safety guidelines around Covid-19 can be fully implemented to ensure the wellbeing of both staff and customers.
Visitors to the leisure centres will notice some changes due to restrictions and all new members will be requested to watch an induction video prior to their physical gym induction, and respond to additional health questions online to ensure adherence to health and safety guidelines.
Council's Director of Health and Communities, Karen McFarland, explained that a lot of work had been going on behind the scenes to ensure a safe return.
"I am delighted to see the commencement of the next stage in our phased approach as we welcome new members to our facilities," she declared.
"With online pre-booking for all our classes and activities and a series of new measures in place at our centres to ensure social distancing and good sanitation, we have been successfully managing the return to our gyms over the past few weeks and are now ready to extend our capacity to include new members.
"I want to remind everyone that in order to ensure a safe and smooth return to leisure services, they must heed the guidance of our staff and follow the instructions while using our facilities. I also want to thank everyone for their cooperation to date which has greatly assisted us in implementing these new ways of working."
This week also saw a return to swimming at three Council owned leisure centres – Templemore Sports Complex, Riversdale and Foyle Arena. Bookable activities now include lane swimming, household swims and club/group usage (subject to booking application, terms and conditions apply).
Visitors are asked to arrive at centres 'Beach Ready' – wearing costumes beneath their clothes – as changing will take place poolside with designated areas on the pool deck to store clothing. There will be full access to changing rooms post-swim with facilities operating a 'quick change zone' at the end of sessions.
Council's Everybody Active Programme also resumed on August17, highlights including Summer Sports Camps, the return of the Everybody Active 50+ programme, the EBA cycle and EBA Walk jog/run programmes. For more information go to www.derrystrabane.com/sportsdevelopment.