Recreation center staff, residents follow guidelines to enjoy first day back

Keeping her distance, Jane Campbell, of the Village of St. Charles, gives her arms a workout in the SeaBreeze Recreation Center sports pool. With four lanes open and additional space available in the walking area, all sports pools are now open.

By Maddie Cutler

and Liz Coughlin

Daily Sun Staff Writers

A shuffleboard cue, a pool noodle and two golf carts: these are visual aids that residents may find posted on the doors outside recreation centers to gauge what 6 feet looks like. On Monday, residents followed social-distancing guidelines as they enjoyed recreation center facilities for the first time since March.

Carol Krouse, of the Village of Hadley, swam 2,000 yards at Lake Miona Sports Pool then added some water walking to her workout.

“I’m on the swim team, so I was excited to get out here after six weeks,” Krouse said. 

Krouse plans to continue to practice six days a week in preparation for a state meet in December, at which she hopes to qualify for the National Senior Games.

With four lanes available for lap swimming and additional space open for water walking at sports pools, Lake Miona recreation facilities manager Mike Burleson said residents had space to spread out.

“People are excited that the pools have opened back up and they show that with a willingness to follow the guidelines that are in place,” Burleson said.

Recreation assistants Rose Marginson and Carol Donato checked for masks and took down names as residents walked in to help keep track of the one-hour time limit.

“This has been a long time that we’ve been off,” Marginson said.

“And of course, coming back it’s different,” Donato added.

Rohan Recreation Center’s sports pool also was ready and waiting for residents to jump in.

Amanda Cyr, a recreation assistant, sat at the entrance of the pool to greet residents as they came in on Monday.

Cyr, of the Village of DeSoto, wore a face mask as per safety guidelines while she checked resident passes.

“Things have been going pretty good. No one is upset with the few rules we’ve asked they follow,” she said. “We haven’t had too many people stop by but those who have were grateful.”

Jeff Miller, of the Village of La Belle, and Steven Kendrick, of the Village of Fenney, were helping Cyr with the daily operations. 

“Everyone has been very respectful,” Miller said. “They’re happy to follow the rules if it means they can use the pool.”

Inside recreation centers was much quieter as attendants wait for indoor activities to resume.

Paul Emberger, facilities specialist at Eisenhower Recreation Center, said things have been calm but he expects foot traffic to increase as more people want to visit the recreation center. 

“So far, we just have the sports pool open,” he said. “People are really excited to do something active besides walking or biking, so it’s good to offer the pools.”

Staff writer Maddie Cutler can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5386, or maddie.cutler@thevillagesmedia.com. Staff writer Liz Coughlin can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5304, or liz.coughlin@thevillagesmedia.com.

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