Reacting to get more people active post lockdown

Edinburgh Leisure | Thursday 19th November 2020 4:30pm

Reacting to get more people reactive post lockdown

Despite the current Scottish Government restrictions affecting the sport and leisure industry, Edinburgh Leisure is continuing to reopen their venues and services and encouraging as many people of various ages and stages to get active.

June Peebles, CEO at Edinburgh Leisure said: “Over the past few weeks and months, there’s been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to bring Edinburgh Leisure’s 14 venues that are currently open and services back to life. This includes their six golf courses, gyms, tennis courts, sports halls and pitches, Europe’s largest climbing arena at Ratho, five Victorian pools and of course, the very popular Royal Commonwealth Pool.

“And despite all the changes we have had to deal with and continue to deal with –whether that be the changes to facility guidance or changes to what activities we can and cannot open (our group fitness classes and adult group activities are not able to take place under the current Level 3 restrictions), we have continued to progress with our re-opening plans. Feedback has been so positive with Edinburgh Leisure being one of the businesses singled out for making customers feel safest since reopening with all the measures we have put in place, and an ‘overall crowd-pleaser’.”

Since June, customers have been dusting off their clubs and heading to Edinburgh Leisure’s golf courses. Customer visits are up 43% on last year and continue to perform exceptionally well, despite the autumn weather and ever reducing daylight and playing hours.

The sale of Edinburgh Leisure’s Winter Golf membership, which costs from £22.50 per month with unlimited play at six of their golf courses across the city until 31 March 2021, is contributing to the impressive sales, up four times compared to that in 2019.

Other services that have reopened include the sporting facilities in 22 of the Council’s high schools, which Edinburgh Leisure manage on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, and Clip ‘n Climb family sessions at the EICA, albeit on a reduced basis.

Their popular Coaching programme for children’s swim and dive lessons, tennis, gymnastics and climbing, restarted on 16 November.  The swim coaching programme at Queensferry High School restarts on Monday, 30th November.

Seven thousand children and young people have returned to coaching, which although is a reduction on what was available pre-lockdown, complies with Scottish Government and sportscotland guidelines to keep people safe.

Their popular NRG Zone – a coached gym session for children from S1 to 15 years – is now being offered. These sessions introduce the safe and effective use of the gym space and equipment and allows the young person to get accredited and then able to use the gym on the own, at a time out with NRG Zone classes, where there are gym instructors present.   NRG is running across nine of their venues from Friday to Sundays – with limited places offered at specified gym times.

Gym instructor bookings are available once more and need to be booked in advance. Initially, it will be ‘Introduction for New Users and ‘Gym Update Reviews, which are offered with both sessions starting with a 15 minute - one to one -consultation, where goals will be discussed, exercise advice is given and a demonstration of the safe use of equipment. The remainder of the gym session will allow the customer to train in the gym with staff checking on progress.

Edinburgh Leisure has also introduced Family Swim Sessions into their pool timetables, where families of up to five people can swim in a pre-booked pool ‘pod’, with prices starting from £9.60 per family group. Due to the Covid restrictions, groups must adhere to the existing adult: child ratio as well as the COVID-19 restrictions, and need to arrive swim-ready.  In some of the venues, deep-end pods are also available for families with confident swimmers.

A number of Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities projects have also restarted.  Active Communities helps improve the lives of people affected by health conditions, poverty, inequalities, and disabilities.

Programmes which have restarted include: one to one gym sessions for participants on their Healthy Active Minds project; their #YouCan project, which supports care-experienced young people to get active, is running virtual one to ones, outdoor and group outreach programmes; Active Mums, which supports low-income families, has restarted as an outdoor group with the mums enjoying socially distanced workouts in Pilrig Park, with their children being cared for in the creche at Dr Bells Family Centre; and Get Moving Adults Weight Management Education Classes.

In addition, Ageing Well, which encourages older people to get active and stay active, has restarted three of their popular walks.

Ryan Dignan, Health Development Officer, remarked: “The walkers have said how relieved they were that the group was back again as they had missed it so much.”

June Peebles concluded: “Edinburgh Leisure remains as committed as ever to supporting Edinburgh citizens to be active and healthy. We’ve had to introduce a number of changes to comply with all the COVID-19 safety guidance that’s out there.  Things are somewhat different, with smaller numbers taking part in activities at any one time, the mandatory wearing of face coverings when moving around our venues, enhanced cleaning and physical distancing measures but it’s all in place to ensure our customers are safe when visiting our venues.  The feedback has been really positive. Never has the importance of taking care of your physical and mental health been so important – please remember we’re here to help and support you to be active.”


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