The Maple Ridge Leisure Centre’s fitness centre will re-open July 15 . (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Ridge Meadows recreation re-opens

Maple Ridge fitness centre and outdoor pool re-open; Pitt Meadows opens sports fields to groups

The water was sparkling at Hammond Outdoor Pool on Wednesday July 15, during Cathy Driver’s Aquafit class.

Driver was leading the class of 18 socially distanced participants three days after the reopening of the pool.

Joan Farrell, one of the participants, has been doing aqua fit for the past decade and was elated to be back in the pool.

“We’re spaced and, look, we’re good in here,” said Farrell, referring to the change room where only Farrell and one other lady shared – two metres apart.

“This is the best thing for your joints and for our age group. That’s why we love it,” explained Farrell who tries to do Aquafit as much as she can. Usually she does the class three times a week. This week, though, she lucked out because she was able to book all five days.

“We were giggling the first day we went in the pool,” added Farrell.

Geri Bolan, another participant, is satisfied with how the city’s parks, recreation and culture department has handled the public’s safety.

“I think Maple Ridge parks has really done a good job at making sure everybody stays healthy and provides us with everything that we need,” said Bolan.

Many safety precautions have been taken at the Hammond Outdoor Pool, said aquatic coordinator Chris Westwick with the City of Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation and Culture.

There’s a separate entrance and exit for the public and maximum capacities set for different activities in the pool.

“I think our customers are really happy to be back and enjoying being able to experience the water again,” added Westwick.

Locals looking to burn off some energy will have more options this week as Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows open up their recreational offerings.

The Hammond Outdoor Pool welcomes swimmers back as of Monday, July 13.

To maintain safety there will be registered time slots for length swimming, Aquafit classes, and public swims. Access to pool will be coordinated to ensure physical distancing.

The Maple Ridge Leisure Centre’s fitness centre will cater to those working to tone up those summer bodies when it re-opens on Wednesday, July 15.

It is asking its members to register in advance in lieu of just dropping in. Hourly time slots can be booked on the city’s website.

Anyone who would prefer to avoid working out indoors can now register for yoga, Zumba and spin through the leisure centre too.

The outdoor group fitness classes allow members to gain all the benefits of being pushed by their peers with the added safety reassurance of being physically distanced outdoors.

Classes will take place in the gated plaza on the east side of the leisure centre.

READ MORE: Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

Pitt Meadows is opening their sports fields and BMX tracks to organized sports groups too.

It will not be business as usual however.

The focus will be on skill development, so no games, scrimmages or contact play will be permitted.

“I would like to thank the community, specifically, our sports groups for being patient as we coordinated the safe reopening of our sports fields,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall.

“I know that this is welcome news by everyone who is eager to return to physical activity and practice for the sports that they love.”

Field times have been re-booked based on the original field user summer allocation schedule for returning groups with the exception of all special events.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tournaments and special events will not be held in 2020.

Groups wishing to book field times are asked to forward their requests to bookings@pittmeadows.ca.

Prior to booking a sports field, groups must have a sport-specific COVID-19 Safety Plan that details precautions to be put in place to mitigate the risk of virus exposure or infection.

“We recognize that is has been a tough few months, especially for children, and we are excited to be able to get some of our sports groups returning to sport,” says Chief Administrative Office Mark Roberts.

“We ask that they ensure they are following the guidelines so we can keep our fields open.”



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

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