Reopening date confirmed for Sunderland swimming pools as centres emerge from lockdown

The reopening date of three pools on Wearside has been confirmed as coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to ease – with questions remaining over one city sports centre.

By Fiona Thompson
Thursday, 20th August 2020, 5:10 pm

Everyone Active, which runs sporting facilities on behalf of Sunderland City Council, has confirmed Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre and Washington Leisure Centre will welcome back swimmers from Saturday, August 22, joining their gyms and group exercise studios, which relaunched last month.

Swimming lessons will also begin again from this weekend.

Hetton Community Pool and Leisure Centre will reopen its gyms on the same day, along with its pool for bookable lane swimming and swim lessons.

Everyone Active has confirmed the pool reopening dates for Washington Leisure Centre, Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre and Washington Leisure Centre and Hetton Community Pool and Leisure Centre, but has not revealed when the Raich Carter Centre will welcome back visitors.

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A message on its Facebook page on Tuesday, July 21, said it was in talks with the council to confirm a date.

The Government confirmed on Thursday, July 9, that leisure facilities were safe to reopen, with Everyone Active introducing a “variety of measures” across its sites.

The Raich Carter Centre in Hendon has been boarded up since leisure centres were ordered to close down during the pandemic.

These include booking sessions and fewer lessons in the pool at any one time to allow children and swimming teachers to social distance.

Lesson times will be staggered so there will be fewer classes starting and finishing at the same time and only one parent or guardian to attend to reduce the number of people in the centre.

Ian Bradgate, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “After a successful reopening of our gyms and studios, we’re pleased to take the next step in our phased reopening plan and get everyone active in our swimming pools again.”

Councillor John Kelly, the council’s cabinet member for vibrant city, added: “It’s good to see pools reopening and swimming lessons resuming.

"We know they have been greatly missed.

“Measures are in place to ensure the safety of both swimmers and staff and we would urge everyone to make sure they follow these when they visit our pools.”

Full guidance on the safety programme can be found via https://www.everyoneactive.com/reopeningmeasures/.

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