Sussexsport

Welcome back

We're open and looking forward to seeing you!

The Falmer Sports Complex and Sport Centre are open, with some changes in place to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience when you see us again.

Things may look a little different, but our friendly Sussexsport welcome remains. You can help look after yourself and others by familiarising yourself with our new procedures and following the advice of our staff.

You now need to book in advance for all activities, and our equipment and facilities will be arranged in a way to ensure social distancing, with enhanced cleaning taking place regularly.

Sports specific guidance from National Governing Bodies (NGBs) will affect how some of our facilities (like our racket sports courts and pitches) will operate, and some NGBs are yet to confirm this information.

If you've booked one of our artificial pitches, please view the key information on current Covid-19 restrictions ahead of your visit.

We're pleased to announce that our Stay Home With US programme of online classes, blogs and downloadable home workouts is continuing, alongside our in person activities. For the time being, all you need to take part in our live online classes is a University of Sussex, BSMS or IDS email. You can view the latest timetable on our webpages.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can always get in touch with us by email. We'll continue to update this page with the latest information, so do check back in regularly.

Remember, if you're feeling unwell, please stay at home and don't come into the facilities if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.

Thanks again for your patience and ongoing support. When you're ready to return, we can't wait to see you.

Watch our short video

Find out how we're helping to keep you safe and how you can support us.

What we're doing to keep you safe

Cleaning and disinfecting

Reducing the risk of transmission from surfaces is one of our top priorities, and we have increased our cleaning schedule to ensure that you feel comfortable and safe.

We will:

  • conduct a thorough clean each day before opening
  • have increased sanitiser points throughout the facilities
  • have clear signage to remind everyone of good hygiene and the locations of sanitiser points
  • increase our staff visibility to maintain hygiene and good practice 
  • clean equipment and key touch point areas during and after sessions
  • have extra time between sessions for enhanced cleaning
  • be asking you to support us and look after yourself and others by wiping down your equipment before and after use
  • maintain our ventilation and air conditioning, which has been recently serviced and approved by our on-site health and safety team, to encourage a fresh flow of air throughout the buildings.

Social distancing

Maintaining social distancing at our facilities is really important, and we have a range of new measures to make this simple and straightforward.

We have:

  • created a new one-way system to reduce traffic in busy areas and help to guide you around the building
  • temporarily shut down or removed equipment, to help give you that extra bit of space
  • closed our changing rooms, lockers and showers for the time being, to minimise contact
  • applied a maximum capacity to some fitness rooms, to ensure that numbers in our facilities and classes allow for distancing 
  • installed clear signage to remind everyone to keep the appropriate distance
  • trained our staff on Covid-specific measures, including regular monitoring of areas by our team
  • created a video so that you can be familiar with changes to the facilities.

Stay home if you’re unwell. Please don’t come into the facilities if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

How to use our facilities

Fitness Rooms
  • All fitness (gym) sessions at the Falmer Sports Complex and the Sport Centre must now be booked in advance and are available as one-hour slots
  • Advance booking opens from Tuesday 25 August online, or by phoning our reception (from 1 September)
  • Booking is limited to one fitness room visit per day
  • Advance booking rights (how far in advance you can book) will depend on what kind membership you have
  • If you are an off-peak member, you will only be able to book sessions where the booking slot start time is during off-peak hours
  • When entering the building and the fitness rooms, you must clean your hands using the available sanitiser points
  • Please arrive ready to exercise, as currently there is no access to changing rooms, lockers and showers
  • Please bring a full water bottle, as at present we are unable to use our water fountains
  • To help us with safe social distancing, please use the one-way system
  • As spotting isn't allowed for safe distancing reasons, please only lift weights that you can manage on your own
  • Please maintain a safe distance from other users, including when waiting for machines or equipment to become available
  • To help us keep our facility safe and clean, please wipe down equipment before and after use
  • We have provided plenty of cleaning materials to keep equipment clean, so no sweat towels please
  • When leaving the building please use the exit only
  • Between all sessions, the fitness room equipment will be cleaned by staff
  • Enjoy your session and welcome back!
Group exercise classes
  • All classes must be booked in advance
  • Advance booking opens from Tuesday 25 August online, or by phoning our reception (from 1 September)
  • Booking is limited to one group exercise class per day
  • Advance booking rights (how far in advance you can book) will depend on what kind membership you have
  • Class capacities have been reduced to help us maintain safe distancing
  • All classes will have breaks after to allow us to clean any equipment or areas
  • When entering the building you must clean your hands using the available sanitiser points
  • Please arrive ready to train/exercise, as currently there is no access to changing rooms, lockers and showers
  • Please bring a full water bottle, as at present we are unable to use our water fountains
  • You no longer need a ticket for a class
  • Please maintain a safe distance from other users, use the provided exercise markers/spacing and follow the instructor's instructions at all times
  • If you are attending a class that uses a mat, you will be required to bring your own as these will currently not be provided.

View the latest group exercise class timetable on our webpages.

Looking after yourself and others - how you can help

There's lots of ways you can help to look after yourself and others, and support us to keep you safe:

  • Familiarise yourself with our new procedures before arrival
  • Turn up ready to workout
  • Bring a filled water bottle
  • Don’t turn up too early, and make sure to leave our facilities quickly after your session
  • Clean your equipment down before and after use
  • If you want to and you're able to, please wear a face covering when making your way to and from a session. You do not need to wear a face covering when exercising
  • Observe the maximum capacity guidelines in some of our fitness rooms
  • Only lift weights you can manage alone, as spotting is not allowed
  • Keep a safe distance at all times by following our one-way system and giving others space while waiting for equipment
  • Stay home if you're unwell. Please don’t come into the facilities if you have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Clean your hands regularly, including when you enter and exit the buildings
  • Bring your own mat if your class requires one
  • Talk to our friendly staff if you need help or have a question - we're here to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

What facilities and services will be available when you reopen?

We'll be reopening the fitness rooms at our Falmer Sports Complex and the Sport Centre from Tuesday 1 September, including our Outdoor Fitness Area and bookable pitches, sports halls and courts.

Our group exercise programme will also start up again, and we'll have indoor and outdoor classes. We're pleased to announce that we'll also be continuing our online sessions too, which were so popular during lockdown.

All activities will require advance booking

Our changing rooms, showers and lockers will remain closed for the time being. This is so our staff can focus their attention on the highest levels of cleaning and assistance in our fitness areas. As soon as we're able to confidently open these spaces while maintaining safe social distancing and the cleaning levels we think are safe, we will do so.

Sports specific guidance from National Governing Bodies (NGBs) will affect how some of our facilities (like our racket sports courts and pitches) will operate, how equipment is used and who you can play with. Some NGBs are yet to confirm this information.

If you've booked one of our artificial pitches, please view the key information on current Covid-19 restrictions ahead of your visit.

To find the latest return to play guidance for your sport, please click on the links below:

Will your opening times be affected?

We are hoping to open at the following times at both sites during the autumn term:

Sport Centre

  • Monday to Friday 7.30am-10pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm
Falmer Sports Complex
  • Monday to Friday 7.30am-10pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm

Please refer to our opening hours webpage for detailed information and links to the University's term dates, including minimum service days, which may affect our opening times.

It is now essential that all activities are pre-booked, so the final bookable slot for each activity may differ to our actual closing time.

This is to help us ensure safe distancing measures and enhanced cleaning time. This will support our staff to provide you with a positive experience and help to keep you safe when you're with us.

Opening times may be subject to change, potentially at short notice. We will update our webpages, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with any urgent changes, so please check our social accounts and webpages regularly.

Is car parking affected at either site?

Car parking on campus is managed by the Transport Team in SEF. You can find their latest updates online.

Car parking procedure at the Falmer Sports Complex remains the same. 

We have approximately 50 parking spaces at the Sport Centre car park, while some of the space is being used to support local authorities.

Normal campus parking charges apply at both sites. 

What will happen to my membership if Sussexsport has to close because of Covid-19?

If you've paid for your membership in advance (as a student, public or alumni member, or as a member of staff on a fixed term contract), and we have to close our facilities because of Covid-19, we will freeze your membership from the date of closure.

We will then either extend your membership to cover the closure time once we reopen or, if not applicable, offer a pro-rata refund for the closure period.

We want you to feel confident that, whatever membership you choose, you will not lose out if we have to close.

If you're a staff member and pay by salary deduction, we will freeze your membership with immediate affect and advise payroll to pause your payments. We will reactivate your membership and commence salary deduction payments when we reopen, unless you advise us otherwise.

I'm a Sussexsport member - what do I need to do about my current membership?

Student members

  • If you have a student membership for the 2019-20 year, it will automatically expire on Monday 31 August 2020. When we reopen we will be able to access our customer information so that we can look at your membership and advise on refunds or extensions.
  • If you are returning to Sussex in the 2020-21 year, we hope to be able to offer you a discount on your new membership that will be a pro rata equivalent of your unused membership costs during our closure time. For most members, this will be a refund amount of £65 if you had an annual Gold membership and a refund of £50 if you had an annual silver membership. If you had a 4-month Gold membership you will also be eligible for a discount, but the amount will depend on when your membership started
  • If you are not returning to Sussex this year, and therefore not eligible for a discount on a new membership, we hope to offer you a pro rata refund based on your membership type.

Staff, public and alumni members

  • If you're a staff member and you pay for your membership each month by salary deduction, we have frozen your membership during the lockdown period and payroll should not have taken payment. This will be reflected in your payslips from Thursday 30 April; we will unfreeze your membership when we reopen from 1 September 2020. 
  • If you think you may need to freeze your membership beyond September, please get in touch so that we can see what we can do.
  • If you're a staff, alumni or public member (including SEF, SussexFood and University of Sussex Co-op staff) and you pay by standing order or direct debit, please notify your bank to see if you can freeze your payments until we reopen.
  • If you're a staff, alumni or public member and have paid for our annual or 3-month membership in full already, we have frozen your membership during the lockdown period and will extend the expiry date of your membership from 1 September 2020. Let us know if you are not returning to campus in September and need this period extending.
  • If you've paid for a membership in full and are a staff member or visiting researcher on a fixed term contract that is due to finish before we are able to reopen, we will refund you pro rata for the remaining time left on your membership. Please get in touch with us by email so that we can look into this for you.

As a thank you to our current members, and to make our facilities as accessible as possible to new students joining our campus community, we're pleased to let you know that we have reduced our student membership prices for the 2020-21 year, and added in a great value one-month membership option. 

This special offer reflects the exceptional circumstances of this current year, with our all inclusive annual student memberships (including gym, classes and racket sports) starting from less than £10 a month.

To buy a new membership, please visit our online shop.

What changes will be in place to make the facilities safe?

We've been working hard over the past few months to make sure we can reopen as safely as possible, and we have waited to reopen until we feel confident to do so. 

Changes include advance booking for all activities, equipment and facilities arranged in a way to ensure social distancing, and enhanced cleaning that will take place regularly. You can find more detailed information on this page and watch our video to familiarise yourself with our new safety measures.

Our staff will be undertaking training to reflect our new ways of operating, and will be on hand to help you whenever you need assistance.

Stay home if you’re unwell. Please don’t come into the facilities if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Are your outdoor facilities open?

We are taking formal bookings only for our 3G and ATP pitches throughout August, while we do a phased reopening. Our other outdoor facilities, including our Outdoor Fitness Area, will reopen on 1 September.

For pitch bookings enquiries, please get in touch by email.

Will your online classes continue when you reopen?

Yes, we're delighted to announce that our online classes, which were so popular during lockdown, will continue when our facilities reopen. 

For the time being, all you need to get involved is a University of Sussex, BSMS or IDS email. We'll be looking at the autumn term online programme soon, so keep an eye on our webpages for the most up-to-date- information.

Our Fitness Team's video tutorials and articles can help keep you fit and well at home, too. You can read these on our Medium page.

We've also partnered with Life Fitness, who have provided us with hundreds of online workouts that you can do at a time to suit you. Watch and download at any time

During this time it is so important to keep active for your physical and mental health, and we want to make sure we can help you.

For now, running, cycling and walking outside are all good ways to maintain physical activity so long as you practice social distancing. This is, of course, subject to change so please make sure you always follow the latest guidelines from the government and World Health Organisation.

The charity MIND also have some excellent advice on coronavirus and your wellbeing.

Is Active US still running?

Yes, our Active US sessions will start again from Monday 28 September and our weekly timetable will be available soon.

In addition to our casual, relaxed social sessions and leagues, we’ve introduced some development sessions for the autumn term. So, if you want to progress or take part in a bit of friendly competition, you can too. 

We’ve also added some new safety measures to make sure that everything is Covid secure. This means extra sessions for shorter times, so that we can have fewer people in each activity to ensure safe social distancing, and to give us time to regularly clean equipment.

You’ll now need to book ahead of every session you’d like to attend. You can do this quickly and easily using the University’s online shop.

We'll be keeping in touch with you on our social channels too, so please make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Is the Therapy Room open?

Our Therapy Room and Sports Injury Clinic - which operate from the Sport Centre - will remain closed until further notice. We hope that our practitioners will be taking bookings again very soon.

You can find the most up-to-date information on our Therapy Room and Sports Injury Clinic webpages.

Is the discounted swimming offer for staff and students still available?

This will depend on Freedom and Wave's Leisure Centres, who we partner with to offer our discounted swims.

Many of their sites have now reopened. Please check Freedom and Wave Leisure's websites directly ahead of your visit to confirm the situation.

If you are visiting a Freedom Leisure pool (St Luke's, Prince Regent, King Alfred) please be aware that you must now book ahead of your visit, either online or by phone. Please arrive at the pool as ready to swim as possible, as changing rooms are not available before swimming and showers are only open for swimmers to use before they swim. No lockers are available, but there are chairs poolside to leave belongings.

You can find out more about our discounted swim offer on our webpages.

When will the Students' Union sports clubs resume BUCS fixtures?

We hope that the majority of student sports clubs will be training with our coaches once a week in the autumn term, although competitive BUCS fixtures and a full training schedule is not anticipated to return until the spring term in 2021. This is subject to change and will need to be monitored throughout the coming months. You can visit the BUCS website for updates.

In September, there will be a limited number of club trials and taster sessions. The Students' Union will be promoting these and you can visit their website for a full list of sports clubs and societies, including contact information for individual clubs. 

To ensure safety, a return to play of club sports will follow the National Governing Body guidelines for each sport, and full risk assessments will be submitted.

Our student sports clubs will have 'stalls' in the Students' Union virtual Fresher's Fair in September, so make sure to look them up and have a chat with them about how to get involved. 

What children's activities are running?

We are planning our October 2020 half term schedule and we hope that our Sunday Circus Skills club will be back soon. You can find out more information on our webpages