The Sooke Boxing Club reopened its doors on June 1. (Photo contributed by Ellen Connor)

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

Fitness centres in Sooke are taking high precautions as they reopen for public use.

Sooke Boxing Club reopened on June 1, allowing 10 people in the gym at a time.

Owner Ellen Connor rearranged the gym, hanging punching bags spread out around the space, and outlined where each person should stand during a class.

The club has also increased cleaning measures, and participants receive a spray bottle to sanitize anything they touch during class.

“Things are weird,” laughed Connor. “But we don’t have any other choice.”

There will be no partner drills, and everyone will remain at their own punching bag to ensure physical distancing. The club is also not renting out gear, so people are expected to bring their own equipment.

“It’s been challenging but doable. I am just glad to have everyone back in, and to feel some sense of normalcy in these abnormal times,” Connor said.

ALSO READ: Sooke youth and coaches stay active from home

Sooke 24 Hour Health and Fitness also reopened on June 1, with reduced capacity and customers booking ahead of time for their workout. The club also increased staffed hours, has organized the gym to ensure physical distancing, and has provided personal spray bottles for cleaning equipment.

Otter Point Athletics began holding classes again on June 1, following the guidelines of provincial health authorities.

Customers are expected to enter through the rear garage door only. A walkway outlines where people should stand before entering the gym, and those attending classes are asked not to show up too early.

Those entering a class will be first met by a coach and asked if they, or anyone they have been in contact with, are feeling any flu-like symptoms in the last two weeks, or if they, or anyone they know, have been travelling in the last 14 days.

“If you have been, be honest, and you are going to be asked to go home,” said owner Rick Read in a YouTube video. “We don’t want to have to close the gym again.”

Increased sanitation measures are implemented between every class, and the gym has been mapped out into individual stations which everyone will stay within during the entire class. Customers are also expected to disinfect equipment they use.

The gym is not accepting new members for the time being, and bathroom access is restricted.

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