Kings Fitness and Leisure Centre is back and open for
On Saturday 25th July, the Kings Fitness and
Leisure Centre in Cheddar (part of the Wessex Learning Trust) re-opened its
doors for the first time in 126 days. The state-of-the-art fitness facility
closed in mid-March, a few days before the country went into Lockdown, to help
contain the spread of Coronavirus, but is now back and stronger than ever.
The re-opening plan has been in the works since almost day one of the closure, with every aspect of the Leisure Centre experience being analysed and adapted so that it could be safe for when customers return. The result is a facility which when we visited had an overwhelming sense of normality – everything you would expect from Kings Fitness was there … just more spaced out, and with more hand sanitiser!
Walking into the centre you are greeted by one of the
regular smiley faces of the staff on reception; and as you move down the
corridors there are dividers, arrows, and one-way systems to ensure social
distancing can be maintained.
Although things may look a little different, all the facilities are open – for instance: in the gym all the equipment is there, just a little more spaced out and with sanitising stations at each machine to help everyone keep things clean. There is even an overflow area to ensure that though we are more spaced out, the capacity in the gym has not been reduced. Exercise classes too have re-started, and other than being in your own two metre square, with all the regular instructors it feels as though very little has changed.
The centre’s other major facility – their 25m indoor pool –
is also back up and running for lane swimming and some classes. Although
capacity has been capped and you have to arrive with your swimming costume
already on, the actual experience feels very close to normal, with the warm
water just as inviting as it ever was.
A lot of the measures to keep you safe are either achieved
so well they are barely noticeable, or simply behind the scenes – for instance
staff now adhere to an even more rigorous cleaning routine, and certain
non-essential areas have been closed off to enable resources to be put into areas
with the greatest footfall. The centre is also proud to not have had to
introduce a booking system – members can turn up any time and use the
facilities without being confined to a slot.
The re-opening is still in phase one, with further phases planned
over the coming weeks to allow for non-member admission, swimming lessons, and
juniors. Although the days are still young, feedback from members has already
been incredibly positive as more and more people have returned to the gym for the
first time in months.
One member said on Facebook:
“OMG thank you SO much all the team at Kings… just had the most amazing swim after four months of none … WELL DONE to all the behind the scene work … I felt totally comfortable coming back”
With another saying:
“In the gym this morning I felt very safe. Lots of sanitiser available and everyone following the rules.”
Re-opening is however not the only exciting thing happening at Kings Fitness and Leisure, as work is ongoing to build a new extension which, despite the lockdown, is still on track to be finished in October. The new facilities will include a dedicated ‘Spin Studio’, two new studio spaces, an enlarged beauty centre, as well a new reception and office space; and will enable the centre to offer an even greater selection of activities for its members.
Leisure Centre Manager, Linzi Tanner, commented:
“I am so happy to be able to welcome our members back to Kings Fitness! It’s been a tough four months without them, and we have missed them as much as I’m sure they have missed being able to make use of our facilities.
As well as re-opening, I cannot wait to show off our new extension in October which will transform the centre and ensure that there is always something going on for everyone. Building work is on track and looking great! It will be the start of another exceptional chapter for Kings Fitness and Leisure”
Linzi Tanner – Leisure Centre Manager
If you are interested in working out at Kings then you can
find out more, and join online at www.kingsfitness.co.uk
Memberships start at £35 per month.