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Published on 22 January 2021
Archived on 21 February 2021
Leisure centres in Stratford District are continuing to do as much as they can to keep people active despite the lockdown forcing them to close.
The five leisure centres in the district - in Stratford, Southam, Studley, Shipston and The Greig Leisure centre in Alcester - have all had to shut down because of the national lockdown enforced at the start of the year.
But the centres, run by leisure operator Everyone Active on behalf of Stratford District Council, are encouraging people to stay active through online classes and workouts, and are spreading positivity through regular posts on social media.
Alex Fuoco-Lang, contracts manager at Everyone Active, remained positive about the future, and hoped an application for government funding to support its centres while closed would be successful.
He said: "It hasn't been easy for us - but we've been doing all we can to ensure our members are still getting the exercise they need, and to keep our leisure centres well-maintained so they're in top condition when we reopen.
"During the first lockdown last year, we were able to deliver high-quality online classes and workouts by working directly with online fitness firms who could deliver the classes to our members on our behalf.
"We're continuing this online fitness content in this lockdown too, so members can still access advanced exercise routines while at home.
"We've also been sharing all sorts of positive stories and live workouts through our social media feeds to allow non-members to stay active too.
"Keeping healthy and active, especially when so many of us are stuck inside, is incredibly important. In an ideal world we'd encourage people to come to one of our centres, but this is the next best thing now they're closed.
Alex was confident things would pick up when leisure centres were able to reopen, and thanked the council for their help.
"The key thing for us when we do reopen is the social distancing policies that will likely remain in place," he added.
"If there's an easing of social distancing restrictions, it means we can utilise the whole of our facilities to the full, such as using eight badminton courts in a sports hall rather than just four.
"Even when we reopen, we will still give people to option to participate in online classes and it is likely customers will still need to book specific times for their swimming and gym slots.
"Throughout all of this, Stratford District Council have been incredibly supportive and accommodating. Officers have been invaluable in helping us apply for government funding and have provided significant support to help keep us going.
"We can't wait to get back to normal, but in the meantime, we'd encourage members and non-members alike to have a go at our online classes and workouts and to stay as active as they can."
Cllr Ian Shenton, Portfolio Holder for Operations at Stratford District Council, added: "Our leisure centres play a crucial role in the health and wellbeing of our district's residents, and we are doing all we can to support them through the lockdown.
"We have worked closely with Alex and Everyone Active to help them apply for government funding, and we have helped them make sure our centres are fully maintained throughout the lockdown so they will be ready to reopen as soon as possible.
"In the meantime, we would encourage people in the district to have a look at their centre's online classes and give them a go."
Anyone wishing to view online classes should visit Everyone Active's website at www.everyoneactive.com and search for their preferred leisure centre, or search for their leisure centre on Facebook.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575