Saanich Recreation’s fall session was split into two parts as part of a safe, staged return to activities; registration for programs beginning in November opens Oct. 14.

Fall recreation 2.0: Saanich adds programs, tweaks protocols in gradual re-opening

Registration for second half of fall registration opens Oct. 14

Saanich Recreation’s fall registration – Part 2 – is ready to launch, with more registered programs, new “drop-in” opportunities and fine-tuned safety protocols.

The fall session was split into two parts as part of a safe, staged return to activities, explains Jennifer Jakobsen, Saanich Commonwealth Place Manager. The gradual reopening of facilities and programs allow staff to adjust COVID-19 processes and protocols to reduce the possibility of exposure for staff and patrons.

“We have a few months under our belt for registered and reserved drop-in programs and they’ve been going really well, with great feedback from the public,” Jennifer says. “Progressively adding programs in a safe and calculated approach lets us evaluate and tweak as required.”

Saanich Recreation fall activities will include sport and active living programs that allow for physical distancing, including badminton for all age groups, youth fencing, hula dancing and ballroom dance for couples.

Registration opens at 6 a.m. Oct. 14 for registered programs beginning in November. Reserved drop-in programs are ongoing, here’s what you need to know:

  • Space for drop-in programs like waterfit, fitness classes, weight room and lane swimming must be reserved online (preferred method) or by phone. You can reserve a spot up to seven days ahead, and for planning purposes, view the schedule up to two weeks ahead.
  • While class sizes are limited due to physical distancing protocols, Saanich is planning to add additional classes for popular activities, including waterfit and barre fitness. Weightroom sessions are based on 90-minute blocks, and as always, volume and availability depends on time of day. “There are plenty of times when we are well below capacity,” Jennifer says. Length swimming has also been heavily booked as Saanich was the first to open its pools, but as other municipalities open their pools and registered programs like Masters swimming start up, it should take some of the pressure off, she adds.
  • Some classes that were drop-in are changing to a registered model to offer patrons easier planning and allow the class cohort to stick together.
  • As staff learn and adapt, new programs are planned for late fall, including several popular Island Health-partnered programs, such as Take Heart and seniors’ social and movement programs. Sport and active living programs that easily allow for physical distancing have also been added, including youth fencing, badminton for all age groups, hula dancing and ballroom dance for couples, in a larger space. Pearkes has added a new cycle climb course and osteo-fitness, and Gordon Head welcomes modified swim lessons and the Junior Lifeguard program. In addition, the Arts Centre at Cedar Hill will open for dance, visual arts and ceramics for children, youth and adults.

To learn more, register for your fall program, or reserve your drop-in spot, visit

READ MORE: Ready, set, workout!


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