CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - This week gyms and fitness clubs have been able to open once again for the first time in nearly two months. Almost immediately, the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department made the decision to open its two community gyms, albeit with restrictions.
Only swimming and volleyball are up and running inside the Park West and Town Hall facilities and even those two sports have significant limitations.
“Initially we opened up ball fields for kids to be able to go out and kick the soccer ball around or throw the football. We did kind of a soft opening in the beginning and then the governor came out and allowed us the opportunity to open up our gyms," said Gary Santos, Mount Pleasant City Council member. Santos is also the chairman of the Mount Pleasant Recreation Committee.
Basketball is still too close contact for comfort. With lots of space between players, volleyball became a natural first step.
“The staff got together and we looked at it and wanted to make sure it was safe and had the social distancing so we made the decision to go ahead and start volleyball so these kids can get out and start their workouts and get prepared for the season,” Santos said.
To accommodate social distancing guidelines, there are some new rules. You have to bring your own gear, including a ball, and there can only be three people on each side. In addition, those three players still need to be six feet apart.
However, Santos says he hopes to increase that number from six to eight in the very near future. Opening the gyms for such a small number of people may seem like a small step, but it is just the first one.
“People have been locked up in their houses for so long and this is an opportunity for them to get out, start getting some exercise and get back to some normalcy,” Santos said. “Our staff has been fantastic. They have really worked hard making sure that these people have a good experience when they come out.”
The recreation department is also trying to figure out what to do about summer camps.
“Parents depend on camps for the summer and kids love it,” Santos said. “Hopefully, we will be able open all of our camps."
Wednesday night the department announced its first week of summer camps beginning June 8 are a go. Those camps include things like golf, tennis, baseball, soccer, fishing, skateboarding and even a Harry Potter camp.