Coronavirus - Latest Updates

Latest Update - The wait is over, Oxford University Sport is back. 

The University has agreed that Oxford University Sport can re-open on Thursday 1 October, in time for Michaelmas term. Having received this news late last week, we have been working on bringing systems back online. 

We appreciate this has been a long and frustrating wait and are thankful for your patience, but the University wanted to ensure it was best placed to students, staff and the wider community. For details on the wider University’s response the pandemic, please visit the dedicated coronavirus advice page.

197 days has been a long time with our facilities closed, but we know that staying active and being healthy is the best way to boost your immunity and avoid future illness, so have continued to offer LIVE and Virtual classes online, through social media, and via the MobileApp that we launched in June. 

We have been preparing throughout this time to ensure we can keep the University and the wider community as safe as is practical. 

Your Membership 

We will extend annual, seasonal and usage memberships by the lost 197 days. This effectively re-starts your membership from where we left off. If you would rather have a rebate of the 197 days, please contact reception@sport.ac.uk and ask for a payment request form (PRF). 

Direct Debit payments will not resume until 1 November 2020 and rates remain unchanged.  

If you wish your membership to remain frozen for a little longer, until you are ready to return, please contact reception@sport.ox.ac.uk with your suggested date to resume.  

Changes to Operations 

We have made significant changes to our operation, much of which is detailed in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

If you have questions and the answer is not below, please just ask us, or refer to the MobileApp which has more specific guidance by exercise area.

 

Now more than ever we all need to stay active to boost our immunity, to protect our community, protect the vulnerable and protect yourself.

On behalf of the whole team, we are pleased to be finally back. Thank you all for your patience and understanding and for the hundreds of you who have stayed active with us online.

FAQs For Re-Opening & Previous Updates

When will Iffley Road Sports Centre re-open? 

1st October 2020 at 6.30am. 

What will the opening hours be? 

Monday to Thursday 6.30am to 8.30pm. 

Fridays 6.30am to 6pm. 

Saturdays 7.30am to 3.30pm. 

Please visit our online bookings page or our MobileApp for specific times of activities. 

Why is the centre open less hours?

We need more staff per shift to focus on your safety and thoroughly clean and disinfect areas in between bookable sessions, so initially we only have enough staff to open for reduced time.

We also have several vacancies at the moment, so we hope to be able to open more hours if we are able to recruit more staff members.

Which facilities are not open and why? 

The following facilities are unfortunately not opening yet: -

Dojo - we do not have the resources to keep the facility open and retain this at a Covid-secure standard 

Fives Courts (Rugby and Eton) - we do not have the resources to keep the facility open and retain this at a Covid-secure standard. Some limited bookings expected in the coming weeks. 

Cricket Centre - we do not have the resources to keep the facility open and retain this at a Covid-secure standard. Some limited bookings expected in the coming weeks.  

Squash Courts - we do not have the resources to keep the facility to retain this at a Covid-secure standard. Some limited bookings expected in the coming weeks. 

Powerlifting Gym - will not re-open for now, given the nature of the activity and small space, it is not practical to have occupancy for social distancing. We will give access to the Main Gym for powerlifting members unless you write to request a rebate instead by 15th October 2020. 

What activities are opening? 

We will be re-opening the following facilities for booked sessions only: -

  • Rosenblatt Swimming Pool 
  • Main Gym  
  • GLD Studio 
  • Sir Roger Bannister Running Track 
  • Stages Solo Room 
  • Performance Gym – for registered Blues athletes only
  • Outdoor Gym - for register Blues athletes only initially
  • Acer Nethercott Sports Hall - for OU sports club bookings only
  • Main Sports Hall - for OU sports club bookings only 
  • Fletcher Field Artificial Pitch - for OU sports club bookings only

All facilities will require you to book into sessions so that attendees can be contacted in line with test and trace protocols. 

How can I join? 

Our new membership options are available now, along with renewals for those whose memberships may be expiring. We will not be offering a paper joining service for the immediate future. Please join or renew via our memberships page or call to make a phone payment on 01865 611476  

Hopefully after 15th October, we will also have a self-service PC to join in centre, where staff can support you at a safe distance. 

What are the membership options? 

We now have three main options and we will have some other promotional offers periodically. You need to have a membership, a day pass, pay as you go booking or a corporate deal paid by your college to access facilities. 

Active Anywhere is our existing online virtual streaming subscription. It allows you access only to stream to personal devices. You can make Pay as you go bookings onsite for the Gym, Track and racquet courts. 

Active Fitness will give you access to virtual stream in personal devices AND onsite in our GLD Studio. It will give you free access to the Running track, Indoor Gyms, Outdoor Gym.  

Active Fusion will give you access to everything above, in addition you can swim for free, play racquet sports for free and attend fitness classes in our studio, pool and halls. 

Promotions will be running throughout the year including University Parks Tennis, 13 for 10 fitness class cards and more. 

For pricing see our memberships page.

I already have a membership, what will happen with that? 

We have extended all annual and seasonal memberships that were not expired on 17th March 2020 by 197 days. 

We have added our 14-day cooling off period to that arrangement as you had at the start of your contract. So that you would rather seek a rebate for the lost 197 days, please write to us at reception@sport.ox.ac.uk before 15th October 2020 and ask for a payment request form. 

Direct Debit memberships payment collections will resume from 1st November 2020 at your existing price unless you have asked to freeze your account. 

Our survey showed some members had concerns about resuming membership right now. If you’d rather remain frozen on either a Direct Debit or other membership please contact us via reception@sport.ox.ac.uk and ask to be frozen to a specific date. If by that specified date, you’d like more time, just write again. 

Are there activity timetables? 

For the foreseeable future due to the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation, we are publishing activities times only via Online Booking and on our MobileApp. In this way the timetable is always real time rather than a static paper timetable which will be potentially outdated the moment a change is needed. 

If you are not online, please call 01865 611476. You must book in advance of attending site for any activity. The number is not always staffed, please leave a voicemail message and we will come back to you. 

How do I book into activities? 

You can book in via our new MobileApp, via our online booking portal or over the telephone. You cannot book on arrival, as we must protect our staff and avoid a narrow bottle neck in the reception area. 

You can book up to 1 week ahead, however you must give 24 hours' notice to cancel – allowing other members a fair chance of filling your slot. 

If you wish to book consecutive activities and there is a gap (for cleaning) you will be required to leave the building and return 5 minutes before the start of your second booking. 

How are you protecting staff? 

Our enlarged shift teams during the operating hours will act as ‘bubbles’, so always two distinct shifts that won’t mingle. This means if we had a single staff member has symptoms, we could lose that shift cohort only. 

We have supplied PPE and hand sanitiser throughout and University policy is that you must always wear a face covering until you arrive at your exercise space. 

Most of our other measures relate to keeping our distance from customers, not only physical barriers such as screens but digital barriers with regards to membership and bookings. 

Can I use changing rooms and lockers? 

Changing rooms are available, but lockers are out of use, please take your bag to your exercise area, including poolside. 

This is because it is not feasible to disinfect lockers frequently enough within the 30min change overs across all facilities. 

Swimming pool is village change only, separate male and female changing rooms are not available, but the toilets are open and accessible changing rooms are still available.

Please arrive beach or gym ready, wearing you swim costume or gym kit under your clothes. Only using changing rooms as you leave. 

Do not arrive more than 5mins before your booking is due to start as we have tried to stagger start times. Please also depart promptly afterwards. 

Will hair driers be available? 

Hair driers will not be switched on because it requires an extension to the 2m social distancing. 

How will the cleaning regime be different? 

We have budgeted for up to an additional £33,000 in contract cleaning costs through until July 2021. By shortening our working week as well, we can also intensify staff presence for deep cleans between sessions. Deep cleaning times of up to 30mins will be sandwiched between customer sessions, so please arrive on time and leave promptly so all staff can get hands on and next session can start on time.

Does COVID-19 affect pool water? 

World Health Organisation states that 0.5ppm chlorine is sufficient to kill Coronavirus, our pool is sufficiently above that level, nevertheless our rules stipulate no contact between swimmers, we have reduced pool capacity to allow all swimmers 4 square meters of swimming space.

Will my sports club be restarting? 

Sports clubs will have been following their own national governing body advice and working closely with safety officers and our Sports Federation. For more advice or to contract your clubs see or sports a-to-z page or contact sportsfed@sport.ox.ac.uk  

To protect the University and surrounding community, the University has decided to not allow fixtures outside of the city for the immediate term, to reduce transmission risks between areas. 

Can I join a sports club as a new student?

Yes. Almost all of our clubs are accepting new members, even if they are currently running reduced activities. Get in touch with the club via our sports a-to-z page or speak to them at the virtual freshers fair for more information. Keep looking for tasters and trials opportunities in the sports you are interested in too. There will be changes to normal plans but our sports clubs can still welcome you in their own way.

How do I access Iffley Road Sports Centre? 

Pedestrian / Cycle access is via the Iffley Road gate or and vehicular access is via the gate at Jackdaw Lane. There is a one-way system at the entrance – you must approach reception via the steps if you are able. 

Cycling and walking remain the easiest way to reach us and can help as a warmup to you.  

Parking will be strictly limited to authorised University permit holders only. With be no parking (except for disabled bays) immediately outside the front of the centre. Parking will be available only on the gravel as the space is needed for distanced congregating for bookings arriving in the car park rather than indoors by reception.  

Will the café be available? 

Compass Group Ltd will not be re-opening the café in 2020.

When will children’s swimming lessons be resuming? 

Swim School of Oxfordshire will not resume in 2020 due to the heightening risk of mixing large numbers of varied social ‘bubbles’. 

Why did some members get communications and others did not? 

We are sorry, it has been a difficult time for us to communicate with everyone, driven by some initial IT contraits. Communications are also predominantly driven by your preferences and attendance profile. Which you usually opt into at the start of your membership. You can choose to OPT IN to receive E-mail, Mail, Telephone calls. 

Members who have not supplied an e-mail address will begin to receive postal messages once staff are back on site with access to resources to manage that process. 

There are two types of communication we can then send you, depending on what you opt in to.

  1. Data processing relating to your account and subscription running – essential to keep in touch on service basics. 
  2. Marketing, where we wish to tell you about a service the University offers, that is not within the scope of your contractual data processing interests 

We do not allow third party marketing. 

If you would like to update your communication preferences, please e-mail us reception@sport.ox.ac.uk, or discuss with reception. 

If I become unwell what should I do? 

You must never exercise when you are unwell, as it will slow your recovery. In the case of any illness, please stay at home. 

Staff and Student members should refer to the University's dedicated coronavirus advice page.

Local community users should refer to Government and NHS guidance, and use NHS Test and Trace.

Oxford University Sport, University Parks Pavillion (remaining closed) and Marston Road Sports Ground Pavillion (remaining Closed) all have the NHS Track and Trace App QR code, please scan this on every visit. Please swipe your card to move around the building, do not tailgate. 

If you suspect you have Covid-19 please also inform you immediate contacts. We advise that students and staff also inform their colleges and departments. 

If Oxford University Sport has a case, we will inform members of the impact it may have, so please in return also inform us so we can act if needed before any official notice comes through. 

What will happen if members are not adhering to the rules?

We hope that members will help staff in a collegiate approach to remind one and other of perhaps unknowing mistakes, getting too close, wearing of facemasks incorrectly etc. 

Oxford University Sport takes its place in the public health of our community seriously.  

Members or groups who we deem deliberately not adhering to our Covid-secure operating rules will be asked to leave the premises and maybe suspended. 

 

This FAQs section will be updated as we receive new and common questions. 

Our team at Oxford University Sport hope that you and your family are staying safe, keeping well and are able to be as active as you can be given the challenges that we all face.  

When Will We Re-Open?

Whilst we welcomed the Government’s updates on 9th July regarding the potential re-opening of indoor sport and leisure facilities on 25th July, it sadly doesn’t mean our facilities can open yet. We are now looking at the specific technical and organisational requirements of re-opening, as set out by the Government. We will be working in conjunction with the wider University on our plans and the University will have to sign-off those plans before the facilities, particularly Iffley Road Sports Centre, can open. We will provide more information as soon as possible and we look forward to telling you more when we know.

Staying Active 

Being active remains critical to your physical and mental health, and to help fight off disease. We know many of you miss visiting and the team are keen to get back to business as usual to help you. 

  • You can now join our Active Anywhere membership (for FREE until further notice) to give you access to over 500+ classes available to stream. Find out more on our memberships page.
  • The team continue to offer hints, tips and workouts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, including live classes on Wednesdays and Fridays at 08:30, which can be revisited at any time.
  • Please join in and tell us what workouts you’ve been able to do – show us how you’re innovating until we can welcome you back to our facilities.
  • You can also download our app, which we have developed during the closure to make your experience better when we can re-open. Search Oxford University Sport on apple or android to find it. At the moment you can access our streaming classes or book outdoor tennis courts at University Parks (with a Parks Tennis membership) via the app.

 

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Stay Up To Date 

The health, welfare and safety of students and staff is the number one priority for the University of Oxford. You can find out more information about the wider University’s response to coronavirus at the dedicated coronavirus advice page.

Memberships 

  • All direct debits have been Frozen at £0.00, you don’t need to do anything, and no money will be taken out of your account until we re-open. 
  • All Annual memberships will be credited time for the period of the closure once established.

If you have a seasonal or term related membership, or will not or cannot return to the country for Trinity term – please get in touch with us via reception@sport.ox.ac.uk 

Fixture-Related Travel

To protect the community, the University has decided that travel to and from Oxford for sporting fixtures cannot be permitted during the pandemic. This means that no Oxford University sports teams should travel outside the city of Oxford for a sporting fixture against another team (regardless of whether or not the opponent is a university team), nor should they host fixtures against visiting teams from outside Oxford. Matches against teams based within the city are permitted, subject to appropriate risk mitigation measures being taken. This restriction remains in force until further notice. Guidance for University sports clubs is available from the Sports Federation Club Support page or by emailing sportsfed@sport.ox.ac.uk.

Stay active, stay well, and stay safe and thank you all for your continued patience. 

Latest Update

Our team at Oxford University Sport hope that you and your family are staying safe, keeping well and are able to be as active as you can be given the challenges that we all face.  

When Will We Re-Open?

Whilst we welcomed the Government’s updates on 9th July regarding the potential re-opening of indoor sport and leisure facilities on 25th July, it sadly doesn’t mean our facilities can open yet. We are now looking at the specific technical and organisational requirements of re-opening, as set out by the Government. We will be working in conjunction with the wider University on our plans and the University will have to sign-off those plans before the facilities, particularly Iffley Road Sports Centre, can open. We will provide more information as soon as possible and we look forward to telling you more when we know.

Staying Active 

Being active remains critical to your physical and mental health, and to help fight off disease. We know many of you miss visiting and the team are keen to get back to business as usual to help you. 

  • You can now join our Active Anywhere membership (for FREE until further notice) to give you access to over 500+ classes available to stream. Find out more on our memberships page.
  • The team continue to offer hints, tips and workouts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, including live classes on Wednesdays and Fridays at 08:30, which can be revisited at any time.
  • Please join in and tell us what workouts you’ve been able to do – show us how you’re innovating until we can welcome you back to our facilities.
  • You can also download our app, which we have developed during the closure to make your experience better when we can re-open. Search Oxford University Sport on apple or android to find it. At the moment you can access our streaming classes or book outdoor tennis courts at University Parks (with a Parks Tennis membership) via the app.

 

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Stay Up To Date 

The health, welfare and safety of students and staff is the number one priority for the University of Oxford. You can find out more information about the wider University’s response to coronavirus at the dedicated coronavirus advice page.

Memberships 

  • All direct debits have been Frozen at £0.00, you don’t need to do anything, and no money will be taken out of your account until we re-open. 
  • All Annual memberships will be credited time for the period of the closure once established.

If you have a seasonal or term related membership, or will not or cannot return to the country for Trinity term – please get in touch with us via reception@sport.ox.ac.uk

Stay active, stay well, and stay safe and thank you all for your continued patience. 

Our team at Oxford University Sport hope that you and your family are staying safe, keeping well and are able to be as active as you can be given the challenges that we all face.  

We updated you on 19th March following our closure decision, acting on the updated PHE guidelines, which were then formally reiterated by Government on 20th March; instructing all leisure and sport sector facilities to close to aid physical distancing and we are now enclose a brief update on our status. 

When Will We Re-Open?

We informed you, on the 19th March, that we would review our decision to close no later than 8th April, with the then provisional date of 14th April as the earliest possible re-opening date. 

Given the clear national and in fact international situation, it is extremely likely that the UK Government will continue the current lockdown policy for some time, so it is therefore prudent for us to revise our advice regarding the opening and operation of our sports facilities to:

Closed until notice is given from government and the central University for us to re-open.

Memberships 

  • All direct debits have been Frozen at £0.00, you don’t need to do anything, and no money will be taken out of your account until we re-open. 
  • All Annual memberships will be credited time for the period of the closure once established.

If you have a seasonal or term related membership, or will not or cannot return to the country for Trinity term – please get in touch with us via reception@sport.ox.ac.uk 

Staying Active 

Being active remains critical to your physical and mental health, and to help fight off disease. We know many of you miss visiting and the team are keen to get back to business as usual to help you. 

  • The team continue to offer daily hints, tips and workouts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please join in and tell us what workouts you’ve been able to do – show us how you’re innovating in isolation. 

 

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Virtual Classes

We have been busy investigating the potential of supplying Virtual Online fitness and wellbeing classes for members, including availability for whole families  and we hope to be able to bring you an Oxford University ‘FitFlix’ very soon – more news to follow! 

Stay Up To Date 

The health, welfare and safety of students and staff is the number one priority for the University of Oxford. You can find out more information about the wider University’s response to coronavirus at the dedicated coronavirus advice page.

Stay home, stay active, stay well, and thank you all for your continued patience. 

Following our statements on Monday and Tuesday, the UK Government advice has been subsequently been updated. We believe that sadly, sporting activities of the type we offer, constitute ‘unnecessary social contact’ and as such we are closing our facilities as detailed below. 

Oxford University Sport decided to close at 9pm on Monday 16th March 2020. Unless the government advice is updated, we expect to remain closed until at least 14th April 2020. We will keep this under constant review and update users again by e-mail no later than 8th April 2020. 

Oxford University Sport must stress, this action is precautionary and not a reaction to any actual or suspected case. There have been none. 

Our team will work remotely as far as is practical, however please be patient as there are some limitations on what we can achieve. 

We will be supporting our staff who are unable to work from home, and the whole team thanks you for your continued support through these extraordinary international events. 

We restate that remaining physically active and being well nourished, alongside great hygiene, are your best defence against becoming poorly. Please remain active and keep in touch with us about your physical activity on social media using #ActiveAtOxford #StayInWorkOut 

 

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Oxford University will continue to post updates on the dedicated updates page. Our sport homepage will also mirror our current advice to users and will be updated as soon as we have any additional information.

Should you have any concerns about credit notes for bookings, freezing memberships or deferring your anniversary date please contact us; this is all in hand. 

Thank you again for your patience as we act to put your welfare first. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon. 

Following the latest government announcement we have taken the decision to unfortunately close Iffley Road Sports Centre. The facilities and our services will be closed from Tuesday 17th March onwards. A statement will follow tomorrow with further details of the closure and the minimal services that will still be available to Oxford University Sports Clubs via the Sports Federation.

We apologies for any inconvenience this may cause but the welfare of all of our members and customers must come first. Please do not travel to the sports centre as no access will be given to facilities.

Given the current national position on Coronavirus (Covid 19) we felt it important to communicate an update regarding the status of our services and facilities. We would like to re-assure members about preparations and implications for your club and hope you find this message helpful. 

First, we know people are worried about coronavirus, but being fit and healthy is an important deterrent to the risk of infection in the first place. There is no need to stop being active as long as you follow current advice.  

Of course if you should become unwell, in any respect then please do stay away from your Oxford University Sport and inform us.

We are working under the current University guidelines (as informed by Government advice) and additionally are following UK national advice to the leisure sector from:-

  • UK Active
  • Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group

Swimming Pool: Oxford University Sport already has sufficient disinfectant regimes in our Pool water controls, with Chlorine, UV, pH and temperature controls to remain safe throughout.

Exercise Areas: Oxford University Sport has always supplied disinfectant sprays, and disposable blue paper towels in exercise areas. Please continue to carry a towel and use the available disinfectant to wipe down handles, equipment and surfaces before and after use.

Ancillary Areas: Oxford University Sport has increased the regime for disinfecting handles and high risk areas, and has ordered 4 hours of daily additional cleaning purely to disinfect commonly touched services (lockers, rails, handles etc.)

Reception: We have installed a disinfectant dispenser by the main entrance, to supplement hand wash facilities in rest rooms. We have decided to cease handling cash for the time being. We can take card payments at the till, over the phone and online.

    What can members do to help?

    Please continue to thoroughly wash your hands and maintain good personal hygiene. Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.

    However unlikely, if you take the decision to self-isolate with coronavirus symptoms, or indeed test positive for Covid-19: -

    • Clearly stay away from the sports facilities
    • Inform Oxford University Sport of your status if you have visited us within the past 14 days (we can check if you are unsure, please do ask)

    To Contact us
    Please email us via reception@sport.ox.ac.uk or call our reception team on 01865 611476.

    • Inform the reception team of your name, membership number, address or e-mail to ID yourself. Give whatever detail you can 
    • They will escalate your report internally within Sport & the University

    In these circumstances we will take remedial steps as a precautionary measure. With any illness, we would ask all members not to train at the club if you feel under the weather. It does not optimise your health and can delay your return to full Health.

    For now we repeat it is crucial to remember that an active and healthy lifestyle protects you from the implications of any disease. The health, welfare and safety of students and staff is the number one priority for the University. We have set up a dedicated coronavirus advice page, and are acting on advice from sources including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, World Health Organisation, the NHS and Public Health England.

    University Advice


    Visit the University Coronavirus advice and updates page for the latest guidance:

    Visit the Advice & Updates page

    Contact Us


      enquiries@sport.ox.ac.uk

      01865 611471