Sarnia approves timetable to reopen sports facilities

The Sarnia Arena, seen here in January, will be the last to resume operations under a new timetable approved by council last week. Troy Shantz file photo

Journal Staff

Sarnia is preparing to gradually reopen its arenas and other sports facilities for public use, starting Aug. 1.

Council approved a schedule and the staff hirings needed to run the facilities last week.

The timetable is conditional on Sarnia-Lambton entering Stage 3 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan. Once in Stage 3, team sports can resume competitive play, provided players adhere to physical distancing guidelines and avoid prolonged and deliberate physical contact.

TECUMSEH POOL AND SPLASH PAD: The pool will reopen on Saturday, Aug. 1, if 10 lifeguards can be hired in time. Three public swim sessions will be offered per day, seven days a week, free of charge, until Aug. 31. The number of users at any given time will be limited to 50% of pool capacity to maintain social distancing. Play structures, including the slide, will be off-limits. Users will be required to undergo a temperature check and sign up for COVID-19 tracking purposes. The city is looking for sponsors to help cover the estimated $69,000 it will cost for pool staff and increased maintenance.

PROGRESSIVE AUTO SALES ARENA, (Rink 2): To open Tuesday, Aug. 4 for elite training users who normally have access to summer ice. Full team practices and games are not yet permitted. The leagues in which the Sarnia Sting and Sarnia Legionnaires play have not yet announced start-up dates.

PROGRESSIVE AUTO SALES ARENA, (Rink 1): To open Tuesday, Sept. 14, for minor hockey, figure skating, and the Sarnia Legionnaires, once the Junior B team returns to action.

CLEARWATER ARENA: To open Monday, Sept. 14, for regular fall and winter community programs, including minor hockey, figure skating and adult recreational leagues.

SARNIA ARENA: To open Monday, Sept. 21 for minor hockey, figure skating and adult recreational leagues. Safety protocols for all arenas are being developed with input from the Ontario Hockey Federation and Skate Canada.

SPORTS FIELDS: Once in Stage 3, the city will increase maintenance at its 13 baseball diamonds, 30-plus soccer pitches and three football fields — which have been open for casual use only — and allow rental permits to be issued. Summer leagues that were cancelled include baseball, fastball, lacrosse, football, two-pitch and soccer. Seasonal staff are being hired immediately to line fields, set bases, and reopen sportsfield washrooms at Clearwater, Norm Perry, Blackwell, and Errol Russell parks.

CANATARA BEACH: Though the beach has been open for public use there are no lifeguards. If 10 qualified guards can be found in time, they would return to duty Saturday, Aug. 1 and continue for the month of August.