Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International Sports Centre has successfully reopened to the public following a summer of uncertainty for the venue.
Ponds Forge Reopens
Following a six-month closure, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre finally reopened on Monday 26 October.
The Sheffield City Trust venue had initially closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
More recently, Ponds Forge hit the headlines after it delayed reopening “due to extremely high reopening and running costs, lost income and a gap in Government support”.
“Ponds Forge’s reopening is fantastic news for Sheffield at a time when good news is pretty hard to come by.
“Naturally, we’re delighted at Ponds’ hugely successful reopening, which is the next step in a phased reopening of our facilities to the public and sports teams who use them. It follows the successful reopening of our golf courses several months ago, as well as that of sports and leisure venues across Sheffield communities.”Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Trust
Campaigns to reopen Ponds Forge
Protests and campaigns were held by a number of elite sports groups who rely on the centre’s facilities for training and competition purposes.
They had been calling on the Council to support the Trust in reopening Ponds Forge.
Sheffield City Council have now approved and injected funds to allow Sheffield City Trust to reopen the sports centre.
“I’m thrilled that Ponds Forge has reopened to the public with measures to ensure we are safe and compliant under Tier 3 restrictions.
“Alongside our many green spaces, we’re now able to offer communities across Sheffield the full range of safe places to stay active as the darker nights and winter weather set in. It’s crucial now more than ever that we look after our health and wellbeing.
“I hope families enjoy a mix of healthy activities throughout half term and make the best use of the city we all call home. I’d also like to extend a warm welcome back to the teams who are once again able to make use of the superb facilities on offer here in Sheffield.”Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council
Social Distancing Changes at Ponds Forge
A number of strict social distancing measures have been put in place to enable Ponds Forge to reopen.
Face coverings are compulsory in communal areas, a one-way system has been implemented and sanitising stations have been installed.
Additionally, capacity is to be monitored across the venue to ensure customers and staff remain safe.
Further statement from Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Trust
“It’s also fantastic news for the hugely talented elite athletes who train at Ponds Forge. I empathise hugely with the aquatics clubs who, in an Olympic year, were left without a training venue when Ponds Forge was forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however we now look forward to supporting them in their preparation for the rearranged Tokyo Olympics.
“As a not for profit organisation, Sheffield City Trust exists to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of this great city, with around 25,000 individuals regularly participating in activity each week.
“Our Exercise Referral Scheme helps around 1,800 individuals living with complex health challenges annually, and we’ve delivered over £22 million in social value and brought over £30 million into the local economy.
“During a period of great uncertainty, reopening Ponds Forge has been a huge success not only for Sheffield but as a symbol of what can be achieved if people, organisations and communities work together for the benefit of the wider population.”Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Trust
More information on Sheffield City Trust and their Social Distancing measures is available at their website.
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