We hope you are all still keeping safe and well.
It has been nearly 3 months since we closed the doors to the gym and the world is certainly a very different place now than it was then. On behalf of the trustees of the charity I write to provide an update on the current situation.
Firstly, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the club, it has been lovely to see all the posts on social media of the competitions, conditioning and daily challenges. We’d also especially like to thank all those who have been able to continue to pay training fees, this act of kindness has and will help us significantly.
Although we still have no confirmed date for reopening, we do know that some leisure and club facilities are planning to reopen in late-July to mid-August. With this is mind we are working on our detailed plans for reopening. Naturally these plans will adapt as time progresses and more information comes to light and/or variables change.
Quite simply, and as has always been the case, the safety of our gymnasts and staff is our absolute top priority and we will not reopen until we believe it is safe to do so, all the new procedures are in place and our staff have been trained and all known risks have been minimised.
To provide some clarity, there are 4 key dependencies before we can reopen:The Government need to allow gym facilities to open, this goes without saying.
- Bletchley Leisure Centre needs to reopen. We are working closely with the leisure centre and know that their plans are to reopen in July. We already have physical access to the gym and are in the process altering the layout to allow for the required social distancing.
- British Gymnastics, our governing body, need to allow us to reopen. Our gymnasts are insured through their membership of British Gymnastics (BG). We believe BG will broadly adopt the Government position and timing on reopening.
- We need to operate in a Covid-19 friendly manner and follow all government and BG guidelines. BG have this morning published their guidance and we are currently studying this. As you might imagine there will be many new procedures including deep cleaning of all areas prior to opening, increased frequency of cleaning, social distancing whilst queuing and in the gym, antibacterial wipes and sprays, cashless transactions, protective screens, separate routes in and out, temperature checks etc. Given the procedures they’ve announced for elite athletes (who are already now allowed to train) we expected the list to be extensive and we will implement and comply with everything they require.
I’m sure it is obvious to all that that the total number of gymnasts and staff that will be able to be in the gym at any one time will be significantly reduced from before and although our operational planning continues to evolve our high-level strategy is to run with lower numbers than we could safely fit in the gym but to extend the times in which we operate and run a higher numbers of classes throughout the day (with extra time allowed between classes for cleaning).
By adopting this strategy, together with flexibility from parents around class times, it is our hope that we can offer training to all of our gymnasts and provide a similar amount of training hours per week.
It is inevitable that some classes will be more popular that others, purely because of the timings and where this is the case priority for these timings will be given to those that have been able to support the charity through payment of fees.
Ultimately, it is always up to you as parents, as to whether you are comfortable or able to send your children back to the gym when we reopen, and we will always support your decision. We understand that every family is different, some may not be confident to return, others may have relatives / siblings at home that need extra protection.
As we get closer to reopening, I will be providing further updates on specific safety measures we are implementing and updates on our plans so please keep an eye out on the website and add our email address to your ‘safe senders’ list to ensure you receive these updates.
Lastly, we understand that 3 months out of the gym is a long time and some children will have decided they no longer wish to continue. Can we ask that if you already know that your child won’t be reattending gym when we do reopen please let us know by contacting Reception@ArabianGym.com
Thanks and Kind Regards