Sports centre frequently asked questions

COVID-19 update: January 2021 lockdown

In line with the Government’s latest announcement of a national lockdown, from Tuesday 5 January all of our Sport and Fitness Centres remain closed, including the outdoor pool at Pools on the Park. Any existing customer bookings will be cancelled and credits placed on accounts for payments that have been made. Memberships remain on hold and no further payments are currently being taken.

Find out more about memberships, payments and enquiries.

We understand that you may have some questions you would like to us during this closure period, so we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions below. If your query isn't covered and you would like to contact us, please do so using the email details below.

Swim school - Tier 4 update

We are currently working towards a phased return of children’s swimming lessons at our centres. These lessons will be delivered in line with Swim England guidance.

Due to the current restrictions we do not know when we will be able to restart the swim school. Therefore, we will not be commencing with the rebooking and restarting of lessons as planned. We will provide a further update as soon as we have any confirmed dates.

When we commence rebooking, we will be contacting all parents whose children were previously attending swimming lessons with us before lockdown. When we contact you, we will provide details of the new timetable and rebook your child’s lessons if you wish to resume lessons. When rebooking, please remember that not all lessons will start during the same week, and we ask that you please note your child’s specific lesson start date.

In advance of us calling, please be aware of the following lesson changes that will take effect:

  • All classes will be 25 minutes in duration to allow for a smoother transition between classes and to avoid overcrowding on poolside
  • We will require all swimmers to come to the centre 'swim ready' and only arrive a maximum of five minutes before the session start time
  • Pre-school classes (3 to 5 years) will be running as Adult and Child classes – therefore, you will need to accompany your child into the pool on a 1:1 basis, as the teachers are unable to get into the pool
  • Stage classes are available for any child who is in Reception or above at primary school
  • Rookie lifeguard classes will not be running during the Spring term of 2021
  • If you do not have a child swimming in a lesson at any time, then unfortunately you will not be allowed to wait inside the centre, e.g. if you have two children attending swimming lessons and there is a gap between lessons, you will not be able to wait in the centre
  • Only one adult will be able to accompany each child into the centre. Please do not bring siblings with you if they do not have a lesson
  • Credit/refunds for lessons will be only be provided on production of a medical certificate - we will be unable to provide credits or refunds for other reasons

When the centres return to Tier 3, swimming lessons for those under 18 can go ahead. If your child swims at Pools on the Park, the café will be open for take away only however food and drink both purchased at site and brought from home cannot be consumed on the premises.

If your child no longer requires a place in a lesson, please let us know so that we can remove you from the list, as this will help us with our lesson planning and speed up the rebooking process.

Please note that we will not be accepting new pupils for lessons until Easter 2021 at the earliest.

Junior courses and activities

My child was booked onto a January to March 2020 course, but the centre closed before the term finished, will I get my money back?

Sessions that were cancelled due to the closure of the centres will be rolled over as a credit for the next new term when the centres reopen.

Will my child’s place be reserved on the new term?

Those who were already booked onto the January to March 2020 term will be given a priority re-enrolment period when we know the centres are going to reopen.

My child will not be returning to their course(s), can I get a refund for the missed sessions?

Yes, you can get a refund for the cancelled sessions if your child will not be returning to the courses. You will need to request this via email to leisure@richmond.gov.uk

I am keen for my child to practice skills or view videos/classes online to ensure that they continue learning their chosen sport. Will the Council be running any online classes?

Unfortunately, we will not be offering online classes ourselves. However, you may like to check with our partner clubs whether they are offering anything online. Club details are as follows:

Block bookings

I have paid for the September – December 2020 term already, how can I make sure I don’t loose money for pre-booked sessions?

We will be issuing credit notes for missed sessions due lockdown/site closures.

When the government has indicated that recreational sport can re-start, can we use the facilities again?

All sports are subject to their own independent governing body guidance as well as the UK Government guidance. We are working through these and implementing them alongside our COVID secure measures to ensure that our facilities are safe for customers to return to. All block bookings will be contacted by centre staff once this information has been reviewed.

Will my block booking still be possible when you reopen?

We will give priority to those who had existing block bookings before lockdown to enable them to continue with the slots they have already booked. Centre staff will contact block booking representatives at the earliest opportunity once government guidance has been reviewed.

Contact the Sports and Fitness team

Please contact us using one of the following options: 

Up to: Sports

Updated: 04 January 2021