Screenshot of Gee-Gees website
Screenshot of Gee-Gees website. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
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No matter when I check the website, zero spots are available

Less than a week since the University of Ottawa opened up it’s fitness center at the Minto Sports Complex for individuals to go workout and it seems it’s impossible to do so. As someone who was itching to get back in the gym- especially after being deprived of it throughout lockdown – seeing the announcement that the gym was reopening was music to my ears. 

Unfortunately, I’ll probably never actually get to enter the fitness center, use the equipment, and get back to my pre-COVID-19 form. 

Of course, safety regulations are necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19, the University has put rules in place. This includes having students and staff go online to book a one hour and fifteen minute time slot through the Gee-Gees registration website. 

Overall, the rules and regulations the University is enforcing are standard for training facilities throughout the city. Individuals are required to fill out a self-assessment form before using the gym, have a face covering, and abide strict  guidelines in order to make sessions go smoothly and safely. 

I’ll be the first to point out that it’s actually quite difficult to find the section of the website that allows you to book a session. With some help, I was able to navigate through intramural registrations, drop-in activities, and finally landed on the correct tab. From there I was able to scroll through the timeslots. 

It was quite disheartening to click through all five pages and see that every single session was unavailable. Of course, being added to the waitlist is an option, but that doesn’t help much when you can only view time slots seven days ahead and because it’s unclear where to drop your session. 

Naturally, I checked again the next day, and I keep checking, refreshing the page every day hoping that I would be able to get in at least one time slot. It seems that many people have the same idea, and no matter what time of day I log in to the website, all the spots are  filled. 

After looking through the full-time student statement of account, there is a $60 fee being paid towards the fitness center, making it incredibly annoying to be unable to use the facility. 

I’m certain that I’m not the only one having this issue. And while I understand that the precautions put in place are necessary and were made with the intention of protecting everyone who uses the fitness center, there has to be some way to make the gym more accessible for everyone who wants to use it.