THE BROMSGROVE man who manages one of Birmingham’s first trampoline parks invited the Standard’s Tristan Harris and his family down to see all the safety measures put in place to ensure the venue is Covid-secure.
Andy Trigg has been at Rush in Kings Norton since it opened in November 2016.
It came as trampolining popularity was gathering pace and the park could have between 220,000 to 240,000 people through the door each year.
In one February half-term the numbers would reach 200 people per hour and 1,200 to 1,500 every day.
But all that had to change when the virus struck.
Rush was one of the first venues to close for the lockdown on safety grounds and then the task was trying to work out how to reopen.
Andy said: “We had to think very carefully about what to do and think about how to welcome people back, keep them safe but maintain the fun of coming here.”
The park’s usual 200 people capacity has been reduced to 80 and the booking and check-in process has been streamlined.
90-minute slots are now booked online and the check-in takes place in the car park.
People then file into the building to get their wristbands and socks.
The area before you get to the trampolines, which used to house games machines, has been cleared so there is a big foyer space enabling plenty of social distancing.
As many venues have there are stickers on the floor two metres apart.
My daughters – aged eight and 13 – went off to bounce their afternoon away while I watched on to see Andy’s plans in action.
Covid-busters have been introduced to clean the equipment during the sessions and it is given a 30-minute deep clean in between the sessions.
Andy added: “We wanted to keep the games, such as dodgeball, the Wipeout (based on the hit TV show) and the Gladiator style pugil sticks but it was a question of how.
“In dodgeball the balls are cleaned and players use hand sanitiser to ensure everything is as safe as it possibly can be, the pugil sticks are cleaned and for the Wipeout the beams which players jump over or duck under are also wiped down after every short session.”
The staff there were meticulous in their cleaning but Andy’s ideas had worked – it did not detract from the fun.
Numbers at each games session are limited but – because they are only a couple of minutes long and because of the reduced numbers – the waiting time was probably less than it was before.
I got the family’s verdict afterwards – they had been there previously but I had nothing to compare it to.
Every one of them said they preferred it to the pre-lockdown sessions. The reasons given were getting in was actually quicker because of the process being split between online booking and the car park check-in.
Then once inside there was more space for them to jump and play.
But it was not just us.
Andy said: “We have had many people tell us they prefer it now.
“One woman posted on our Facebook page on the opening day it was the best time she had had here.”
Although there are limited numbers, there is still plenty of time until September brings the end of the school holidays for people to get a bounce in if they want one.
Andy added: “There should be enough time to accommodate everyone for at least one visit – I certainly hope so anyway.
“We have people come to Rush from all over the Midlands – as well as Birmingham, we frequently get visitors from Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Redditch, Solihull and the Black Country.
“We’ve even had people from Oxford!
“We want people to come down and let us know about what they think of the new measures in place.”
Visit www.rushuk.com for more information and to book tickets.