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Dec. 6, 2021 | Monday
Local News
NOTLer happy to see community centre gym open again
Elaine Tanner uses the elliptical at the community centre on Tuesday. (Richard Harley)

Former Canadian Olympic swimmer Elaine Tanner is happy to have somewhere to go get some exercise again.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre opened its doors again Monday, with a maximum of 10 people at once allowed to use its track and fitness facilities, by appointment only.

Tanner was one of the only people in the building Tuesday afternoon, working out on the elliptical machine.

She said it's a big positive for the community, not just for physical health, but also for mental health.

"I've missed it so much," she said. "It's such a great emotional outlet for people. And with COVID you want to keep healthy and keep your weight down because people will sit around in the house and eat. And you don't want to do that."

Tanner, 70, was nicknamed "Mighty Mouse" for her exploits in the pool and won three swimming medals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

She said it "feels like a decade" since the centre closed and she was unable to visit the gym.

Monday's opening went well, said NOTL's manager of parks and recreation Kevin Turcotte.

"Everybody kind of was learning about the new process and everybody was just thankful that we were open," he said.

With the new rules, changerooms, showers and lockers are closed, he said. Just bathrooms remain open.

People also have to enter and exit in separate areas and staff is sanitizing equipment regularly. Equipment is also spaced three metres apart.

The track has been moved to the auditorium, marked with orange rope and chairs.

Turcotte said about 50 people used the facilities on the first day of reopening.

"With the weather turning a little bit nicer, people are looking to kind of get ready to be able to go walking outside or some people are just used to using this facility," he said. 

"It's part of their part of their daily routine and when it comes available, that's great."

 

 

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