University sports centre to reopen on Saturday July 25
Phased return of classes fully compliant with social distancing and health and safety measures
If ever there was a time to join a gym, a fitness class or take up a sport, it’s now - that’s the message from trainers at the University of Bradford’s Unique fitness centre, which reopens on Saturday (July 25).
The centre is ‘match ready’, with a new social distancing layout, contactless booking system and cleaning stations to comply with the latest health and safety guidance.
Located in the heart of the city, the centre boasts the kind of facilities most others would be envious of, including a climbing wall, indoor football court, 11-a side outdoor pitch, tennis and squash courts, fitness centre, indoor spin room and more.
During lockdown, some of these have been off limits but others, such as the outdoor 'pop up' gym, tennis and fitness classes have been running for several weeks.
From July 25, there will be a phased approach to the reopening of facilities, beginning with the gym and pool.
Widespread research indicates physical activity can boost mental health, while the Government is urging people to improve their fitness in general during the current pandemic. Now instructors are keen to get the word out to the residents of Bradford - and beyond - about what’s on offer.
Sports Centre Manager Daniel Fawcett is enthusiastic about the possibilities for newcomers: “During lockdown, we have offered a lot of services not only to our member base but members of the community.
“We opened our tennis courts towards the end of May, as that was approved by the government and we introduced personal training and outdoor fitness classes shortly after, which is free for members and for a small fee for others.
“We’re keen to get the word out to people about the facilities we have here and the fact it’s really affordable compared to some other places. For example, students pay £14.50 a month, which is very competitive, considering no other facility in the heart of the city has a 25m pool.”
The 36-year-old father of two, from Birkenshaw, says: “We are not just a gym, we’re more of a sports and fitness complex because we have all these additional facilities. A lot of people think that because we’re on campus it’s just for students and staff but we’re open to all.”
Qualified personal trainers and fitness instructors are also on hand to advise anyone who joins and the atmosphere is friendly and non-judgemental, in line with the university’s wider policy on social inclusion.
Daniel adds: “It’s never too late to join a gym or start your fitness journey. I remember doing that myself at a time in my life when I was overweight and then seeing the difference it made not just physically but mentally and in terms of gaining confidence.
“One thing we’ve seen during lockdown is an emphasis on people’s mental health. Having a break from the home/life setting can work wonders. Our mantra is you’re not striving for perfection, you are striving to be better than you were the previous day. We all have to start somewhere and I see this period as the perfect time for that.”
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