Cupar residents have hit out at reduced opening hours at their local leisure centre.
Harry Johnston and Roddy McLeod have questioned Fife Sports and Leisure Trust’s decision to close the Cupar Sports Centre each day between 10.30 am and 2.30 pm.
They say at a time when the community wants to get back in and get fit, it is creating a barrier for many.
Last week saw national restrictions ease allowing group classes to resume elsewhere.
Fife Sport and Leisure Trust say social distancing and restricted numbers have had an impact, but reassured the timetable will be revised and classes reintroduced.
‘No good reason’
Harry said: “It’s frustrating and restrictive. Nobody can give a sound and meaningful reason for the closing at times when they would be in demand.
“It makes no sense whatsoever in these challenging times to close a facility considered essential for mental and physical health, at times when many need access.
“Old, young, parents with young children, many of whom are furloughed or are now working from home and looking to create a break mid-morning, lunchtime or early afternoon.”
Delay to health class
Although Fife Sport and Leisure Trust started to re-introduce group fitness at their facilities from 18 May, there has also been disappointment a group class, attended by many who have long-term health conditions, isn’t resuming until the end of the month.
The health programme delivers specially-designed classes to people living in the local community with long-term health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and dementia.
Roddy added: “The classes are expertly run and we are all looking forward to getting back.
“It’s a key part of rehabilitation and for people like me to keep fit.
“There’s also the social aspect of it all that we’ve missed and want to see people that we haven’t had the chance to catch up with.”
Highest standards of health and safety
A spokesperson from Fife Sport and Leisure Trust said the highest standards of health and safety had been implemented for customers and staff, including social distancing measures and restricted numbers.
She said: “It has a direct impact on the viability of some programmes and facilities.
“Consequently, we have had to make difficult decisions around our operating hours/timetable.
“Any change to service is not undertaken lightly, and where it has been necessary to alter services, it has been done over low-peak usage with an aim to mitigate customer impact.”
Revising the timetable
Although Cupar Leisure Centre has seen a closure between 10.30am and 2.30pm the timetable will be revised and the health programme will be reintroduced with a variety of classes.
Early morning swimming has been reintroduced every day at Cupar with the first session at 7 am.
The Centre also has additional family/inclusive sessions on Saturday afternoon. The Learn to Swim programme has continued with minimal disruption, the spokeperson added.
Customers must book in advance using the booking system with full details on the Fife Sport and Leisure website.
The spokesperson added: “As a charitable trust, we have worked hard to make our facilities as accessible as possible so that we can fulfil our commitment to get more people more active more often.
“However, Covid-19 protocols do mean we have to restrict numbers and balance the financial impact the pandemic has had, and continues to have, on the organisation and we continue to work in the long-term sustainable interests of the trust for the benefit of the communities of Fife.”