U of R gym reopening

An assortment of weights. Wikipedia Commons

Looking into concerns

The start of a new term brings forth the opening of different facilities at the University of Regina. One of these facilities is the gym and aquatic centre in the Kinesiology Health and Sport building. This opening causes many mixed emotions from students regarding safety, various protocols, fees and overall use of the space. Everyone, including staff, students and administration, wants what is best for the university and its students needs while ensuring that everyone remains as safe as possible. While speaking to various students, there were some that showed excitement while others are apprehensive about the ability to utilize the space.

A large concern of many students is the cleaning and distancing protocols that are in place while using the space. Many students are unaware of the cleaning protocols that are in place and are concerned about them not being followed effectively by other individuals using said spaces. It is important to note that staff are being diligent in their cleaning protocols and are doing their very best to ensure that everyone who enters the space follows all of the cleaning and sanitation guidelines that are in effect. Equipment is cleaned thoroughly between uses and the sign up sheets allow for time between students for this cleaning to happen. Once in the space some students have reported that they do not feel as concerned about the cleaning protocols as they can witness the cleaning that takes place to ensure the health and safety of those who choose to come and use the equipment available.

Another concern that individuals have is being unsure about the quality of workout one can get when present in the fitness centre. Due to the fact that individuals must sign out each piece of equipment that they intend to use, some fear that they will not be able to get a well rounded workout. Others find that this is not a problem and that it serves as a motivator to workout more as they can focus on one aspect more intensely and it prevents them from bouncing between equipment because they do not know what to do. It forces them to stay focused on the area that they intended to do when they walked into the facility instead of drifting back to their preferred areas. The sign outs are also providing accountability as those using the space recognize that spots are limited. By having their name in a slot they feel responsible for showing up and putting in the time whereas before these regulations it was easier to skip gym days as nobody would know and you would not need to potentially answer to anyone about why you did not show up.

The last major concern that students have is about the possible increase in transmission that this is promoting by encouraging individuals who are not from the same bubbles to come into the same space when it is not needed. These people understand that you want the ability to get in a good workout but believe that it is possible to workout from the safety of your own home. By promoting the congregation of a wider variety of individuals to use the same space with people they are not familiar with seems as though it is not a wise idea right now. The confirmed COVID cases that were traced to the Kinesiology building the same week that the gym and aquatic centre opening was announced has only fueled these fears and made those who were nervous about using the space even more concerned about doing so.

Those who are using the space are supportive of the efforts that the staff and administration has put into effect to ensure the safety and health of those who are choosing to workout in the space. They believe that the sanitation protocols, mask wearing and distancing is enough to allow them to get a good sweat on while still staying safe. If people are concerned about the use of the space then they should give the online fitness classes a try as a way to support their fellow Cougars attempts to keep everyone active while ensuring good health in these difficult times.

Currently, there is no majority feeling on whether or not the use of the space itself is a negative thing or not. Majority of individuals are upset about having to pay the fee that is attached to it if they do not intend to use the space. Otherwise there is very little concern about other aspects that can not be worked around with another option that has been presented. If you have concerns about your safety or health please stay home and if you are curious about the protocols that are in place contact the facility about further inquiries. We will reach the other side safely and all of us will be back in the gym in no time.

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