The University College Dublin (UCD) Sports and Fitness Centre have confirmed they will be reopening in full on July 20th, in line with the government’s 4th and final phase of re-opening the economy. The government announced in May that there would be a speeding up process of the re-opening of amenities in Ireland.
Speaking to The College Tribune, Student Services explained the plans and measures they are implementing to “make every visit as safe and enjoyable as possible for our students.”
The Sports Centre has already started redesigning the gym and swimming areas, as to ensure they are following the guidelines set by the HSE. The Sports Centre hasn’t disclosed exactly what measures will be in place, however, they have informed The College Tribune that over the coming weeks they will be “connecting and communicating with students on the finer details of the changes we have made to both the Sports Centre & Student Centre.”
The sports centre may look to other countries where gyms have re-opened to understand how distancing can work. Measures have included smaller class sizes and holding some of them outdoors, as well as more space between machines in some cases. Other potential methods could be limits on capacity and booking in time-slots for workouts. Perspex screens placed between each piece of equipment may also be considered. Some gyms in the US and elsewhere are also checking people’s temperatures before they are allowed to enter.
Since the government announcement of gym and sports facilities being allowed to re-open this summer, the Sports and Student centre has already began placing sanitising stations across the facilities.
While during the summer months, attendance in the Sports Centre may be steady, the most difficult challenge may come when Belfield campus opens up to UCD’s 30,000 students.
Luke Murphy – Assistant News Editor