Saskatchewan Polytechnic is re-opening their gyms and fitness centres at campuses across the province.
The announcement comes three months after the college decided to axe their competitive sports teams and lock the doors of the gyms in the pursuit of a “wellness strategy.”
At the time, Sask. Polytechnic Provost Anne Neufeld said they were temporarily closing the gyms in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert because “Equipment could go missing.”
The gyms will re-open on Aug. 8 as a “temporary solution” while the wellness strategy continues to develop, a release from the college said Monday.
Terence Carswell, associate vice president of human resources, told 650 CKOM they’ve developed a “wellness steering committee” made up of students, faculty and administration to navigate their new direction.
Among the first recommendations from the committee’s four meetings so far was to reinstate student access to the gyms.
However, he said there’s been no consideration of reinstating the college’s competitive sports teams.
“The athletics teams were something we had to make the decision that we were not going to be pursuing any further,” he said.
Carswell noted the committee is instead focusing on the four “dimensions of wellness” — mind, body, life and community.
He said the discussions include how to integrate existing services with the new strategy, as well as putting a focus on mental health and community events like Orange Shirt Day.
However, another issue that hasn’t been resolved is the fate of Sask. Polytechnic’s intramural sports.
The college’s student association said in June they were blindsided by a meeting where the administration asked them to take over the organizing of intramural leagues.
The association said it wouldn’t enter into negotiations until the decision-making process over the wellness strategy was investigated — a demand first made by the college’s faculty association.
“Obviously (intramurals) will be something that may come up with the discussions of the wellness steering committee, especially under the one dimension of body,” Carswell said. “But there haven’t been any recommendations so far.”
He added the committee is still in its fledgling stages.
“We’re really in the emerging stages of our wellness steering committee, and looking at more inclusion of faculty and students,” he said, noting a call for involvement will go out when classes resume in September.