Since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, the Bayside Sport Complex and the GSLA Swimming Pool has been closed and are now part of the Civil Contingencies’ plan as part of the Covid19 strategy.

The staff at GSLA have been very busy in various areas assisting Civil Contingencies making sure facilities are ready and up and running when required.

Some members of the team are working from home and ensuring that administration tasks continue on a daily basis. Others attend their workstations to process essential documentation when needed whilst facilities are also been checked on a daily basis to ensure that all is well.

The majority of the staff complement have been redeployed to different places.

Eleven of them after undergoing initial training have now spent the better part of three weeks in the different StBernard’s Hospital Call Centres. They are working shifts, operating telephone lines and dealing with queries from the general public.

Six others have formed part of the team that is delivering goods and supplies to those over 70s and those vulnerable members of the community with other staff members working from the Training Centre undertaking other key roles in what are unprecedented times.

The GSLA’s facilities staff have played an integral part of setting up at the Garrison Gymnasium, a temporary hostel done in conjunction, with Europa FC, the Royal Gibraltar Police, Social Services and others who are donating meals. The temporary hostel is to provide those without a home a place to stay during the lockdown.

A team led by the Sports Development Unit have been on standby to assist teachers in providing the children of essential workers with a varied set of activities. Given that the number of children attending schools are low, this same team has for the last few days provided structured physical activity to those vulnerable children in care. The activities which see the active involvement of staff, have provided a much needed outlet from the lockdown measures for children that might generally find it harder than most to deal with the challenges of confinement. The feedback has been so positive that initial discussions have already taken place about continuing these activities in some manner when normality returns.

As a final point, the Sports Development Team in conjunction with PAAMOA instructors (Physical Activities Association for Mature Older Adults) and GBC will be recording a series of exercise sessions for seniors that can be practiced from the comfort of their own homes. These new sessions will now be added to those already available on GBC on a daily basis and to a degree fill the void.

The Minister for Sport, the Hon Steven Linares who has been keeping a close eye on activities at the GSLA said:

“I am extremely proud of the GSLA team. From the onset, they have grasped the seriousness of the situation and have done what has been asked of them without question. As with all others who are involved in dealing with the pandemic, I am extremely grateful for their proactiveness and positive response. Management is having to curtail the enthusiasm of some as they are not as actively involved at this stage as they would like but this is a very prudent approach as all officers will be needed at some point. It is sensible to try to stay healthy and be ready to step in for colleagues at the GSLA or in another location across Gibraltar. However, this attitude is a testament to the calibre of the staff at the GSLA. Keep up the great work! Stay Positive! Stay Safe”!