Select Burnaby recreation facilities reopen with limited services

SFU recreation and fitness facilities remain closed at the moment, with an update to be provided by June 15

Photo courtesy of Simon Fraser University

Written by: Paige Riding, News Writer

In the midst of a pandemic, finding the time and place to exercise may prove difficult. Until recently, almost all recreation establishments in Burnaby were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The SFU fitness facilities have been closed since late March, and a recent update on their website notes that further information will be provided by June 15. 

SFU’s Recreation & Fitness Manager Nicholas Sirski spoke to The Peak over email about the current status of SFU’s recreational facilities.

“At this point, SFU Athletics & Recreation is working hard to determine how our programs, events, and facility operations will resume. For now, our facilities are closed and programs, events, and rentals remain suspended.

“In the meantime, we are happy to offer our Healthy At Home initiative [ . . . ] we are offering live classes, videos on-demand, as well as Instagram posts outlining workouts and exercises that you can do from home!”

As of a few weeks ago, the province lifted certain restrictions, including daytime use of parks. Starting on May 13, certain city-owned outdoor spaces reopened with restrictions to ensure social distancing. On the City of Burnaby’s website, advises against visiting popular spaces like hiking trails and parks during peak hours, and cautions that the failure to abide by guidelines posted at these sites may result in closures again.

Trails at Deer Lake Park are now “one-way only.” For Deer Lake and other similar outdoor spaces, Burnaby’s website noted that, “as parking is limited, we encourage you to visit your local, neighbourhood park instead of driving to this popular destination.”

Restricted to “casual play” only, basketball courts, sports fields, tennis, pickleball, and other sports courts will be available for single games. Some other outdoor city-owned areas like skate and bike parks will reopen.

Boat docks at Deer Lake and other spots are now open. The city’s website says “physical distancing must be observed, on and off the water.”

The Peak reached out to some recreational facilities around the Burnaby campus to learn about their proceedings during the pandemic. Many are looking to reopen in the upcoming weeks but are unable to provide statements at this time. As an alternative, many gyms like Survivor Fitness are delivering classes remotely.

Daniela Duva, an outdoor bootcamp instructor, explained Survivor Fitness’s methods. While outdoor classes will not resume yet, half-price courses delivered over Zoom are the current alternative. They are four days a week, mornings and evenings, focusing on different parts of the body throughout the week.

“They are pretty fun. [I] Have people aged between early 20’s all the way up to 92! I thought I wasn’t going to get that many but I have double the numbers right now which is good because I cut the price in half.” Duva noted that some SFU professors attend the classes, too.