Booking opens for swimming at leisure centres

Mon, 24/08/2020 - 12:10 -- Editor

Swimming pools at Derry City and Strabane District Council’s tier one leisure centres are set to resume from next Monday 31 August with bookings for lane swimming being taken from this week.

The swimming pools at the Foyle Arena, Templemore Sports Complex in Derry and the Riversdale Leisure Centre in Strabane, will reopen on Monday 31st August for lane swimming, household swims and club/group usage (subject to booking application, terms and conditions apply).

A number of changes have been put in place to ensure social distancing and in the interests of health and safety, including pre-booking your slot and coming 'beach ready' to the facility. There will be local arrangements in place at each facility, with limited access to changing rooms with plans in place to operate a 'quick change zone' at the end of each session. Locker and shower facilities will not initially be available , however this is being reviewed on a regular basis.

There will be limited capacity at all sites and all activities must be booked in advance. Swim sessions will last for 60minutes. Paid members will be able book seven days in advance from today, Monday, 24th August and casual users can book one day in advance. Swim sessions can be booked through www.derrystrabane.com/leisure.

Bookings for lane swims are live from today while household swims must be booked through reception at their chosen centre in advance.

The public are asked to note that there will be no spectator facilities at any of our centres and we request all users adhere to guidance on social distancing that will apply at all times.

Barry O’Hagan Head of Leisure with Derry City and Strabane District Council reassured the public that every effort has been made by leisure staff to ensure a safe and user-friendly environment for users returning to swimming during these challenging times.

He said to ensure social distancing the Council has restricted the amount of swimmers per session based on current guidelines and social distancing restrictions and that by pre-booking Council is in control of the number of swimmers and can ensure they stay within the maximum capacity.

“We have increased the fresh airflow to our pool halls and changing rooms and we have a one-way system in place throughout the buildings as well as timetables in place to minimise queuing. After each pool session our staff will sanitise all touch points and changing rooms before the next pool session.”

He said swimmers will be required to be beach ready, meaning they will be required to have their swimwear on, on arrival and store their items in a bag during the swim session with access to the changing rooms only available after the swim.

“There will be limited access to changing rooms and we will operate a 'quick change zone' at the end of your session.Locker and shower facilities will not initially be available and this will be kept under review and we are encouraging all users not to bring valuables into the centre,” he added.

From today, Monday 24 August, lane swimming can be booked through our website www.derrystrabane.com/leisure. Household swims must be booked through reception at the the centre you wish to attend, payment must be made at time of booking.

A Frequently Asked Questions section is available on the website to assist with any queries. In the meantime, Council is encouraging the public to enjoy the return of this important recreational and sporting activity and to adhere to the guidelines in place and to co-operate fully with staff as they work to keep everyone safe.