Frequently Asked Questions

19/10/2020
Frequently Asked Questions

All SLT Leisure Centre are now open, with reduced opening hours and timetables in operation. Pre-bookable gym sessions, fitness classes and swimming is available across our centres, you can view our latest timetable here. Due to social distancing measures all sessions must be booked on our website. 

Outdoor and Indoor tennis courts, Badminton & 3G football is also now available. Regular clubs are encouraged to contact the centre teams for the very latest availability and to schedule their return if safe to do so.

Swim academy is also back at all of our centres, for more information read our helpful article.

Many members & customers have loved being back with us and the feedback has been amazing about the safe systems introduced. If you are not quite ready to return then don’t worry. You can freeze your membership again for a time period that suits you.

We will be delivering services in accordance with Covid-19 secure guidelines and are doing everything possible to operate safely and be ready when you are. On your first visit you will notice a number of changes supporting social distancing and Covid-19 secure guidance. Please view our useful video of what you can expect and what is expected of you to ensure you can enjoy your visit and our staff can support a safe experience. 

We all want to return to normal and enjoy our leisure time as quickly and safely as possible, but we really need your patience and support to ensure we are here to provide you with the service you love.




General FAQ

How will SLT be controlling attendances ?

As part of Covid-19 Secure re-opening measures and leading industry guidance, online pre-booking will be required for all fitness classes, gym sessions, lane swimming sessions and other activities to manage attendances.

SLT members will be able to pre-book 48 hours ahead from 6.30am. For example a member will be able to book on Monday at 6.30am for a class on Wednesday evening. Members can cancel a pre-booked session online up to 2 hours before the start of each session. 

How do I book a gym session, fitness class or lane swim session?

You can book all sessions online at www.slt-leisure.co.uk and simply select book online.

For more help download our PDF guide or view our video on how to book a session as an SLT member.

Do I need to wear a face mask? 

Following recent changes in Government and local Public Health guidance for leisure operators we are now required to ask all customers to wear a face covering when entering any Sandwell Leisure Trust facility from Monday 12th October. This includes in reception areas, changing rooms and toilets, corridors & stairways, spectating areas and when entering and leaving fitness studios and the gym.

However you do not and should not wear your face covering whilst exercising. If you have a medical condition which restricts you from wearing a covering, please let a member of the team know. As per Government guidelines children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.

What happens if I can’t attend a pre-booked session? 

ONE card members must cancel their session up to 2 hours before the start of the session, you can cancel a booking by logging in to the booking system and clicking "View future bookings". Select the booking then click "cancel" and then select "request booking cancellation". 

Pre-paid activities however cannot be cancelled online or changed and no refunds will be given.

Cancellations with less than 2 hours notice before the session, none attendance, or not checking in will result in the following:

A charge (based on the cost of the session) will be incurred and you will be unable to pre-book any further sessions until payment is made for this outstanding balance of non-attendance. You have 20 minutes to check into your pre-booked gym or swim session before occurring a charge.

To clear this balance please call 0300 012 0121 and select the centre of your booking.

Those with Standard or Concessionary Leisure Passes and Non-members must pay and pre-book in advance for their activity, refunds are not available for any cancellations.

We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to pre-book and access available sessions.

Can non-members still come? 

Non-members are able to book fitness classes, swim sessions and sports bookings however are unable to book gym sessions. Non-members will be able to book 24 hours ahead from 6.30am. For example a non-member will be able to book on Tuesday at 6.30am for a class on Wednesday evening. Non-members must pay and pre-book in advance for their activity, refunds are not available for any cancellations. 

Will my membership be reduced in price?

No, many service providers have had to increase charges as a result of additional costs resulting from new Covid-19 secure procedures. SLT will maintain membership fees without any increases passed onto you as a result of Covid-19. Members will also be able to participate in pre-recorded and pre-scheduled online fitness sessions.

How many sessions can you book a day?

Each member can book one gym session & one lane swim session per day. In addition, we can now confirm members will be able book more than one class per day as long as the classes are not the same. A back to back class will be permitted if there is space in the following class on arrival. To ensure fairness and allow as many customers as possible to enjoy the service, we politely request that you do not book sessions if you are not going to attend.

How many bookings can I have in my basket at one time?

You can make 6 bookings over the days available to book in one transaction. For members this is 6 bookings 48 hours ahead, for non-members this is 6 bookings 24 hours ahead.

How long are the sessions in gym & classes?

Classes will be 60, 45 or 30 minutes and gym sessions will be 60 minutes* to support effective social distancing measures, managing attendance numbers and in accordance with the latest Covid-19 secure government guidance. *Selected centres have extended gym session durations.

How can I check opening hours and session times?

You can find a list of our opening hours here and our most up to date timetable here.

Why are the opening hours/timetable reduced?

This is a phased re-opening. We will be introducing more sessions and increased hours in a gradual and phased approach as confidence and attendances increase. This will be kept under continuous review and will be subject to the latest guidance and the financial viability to deliver those services. 

Why can’t I see my favourite class?

We will re-opening in a phased and gradual way to ensure customer confidence, safety and operating costs are strictly managed. As demand and attendances increase we will review our programmes accordingly. Please let us know if there are sessions you want to see and our team will consider if these can be provided. Please email any suggestions to info@slt-leisure.co.uk or contact us via our social media channels.

I’m trying to book a gym session online but it doesn’t show as a drop down option. Can you help please? 

As a new member you will not see the gym session option until you have had the opt out code added to your membership. To get this added please click on this link to review our waiver agreement. If you agree to the waiver please email memberships@slt-leisure.co.uk who will get this added as quickly as possible for you.

Please note non members can not book the gym currently.

I’m a standard / concessionary member but unable to cancel my session, why is this?

The only members who can cancel sessions are One Card members. Two hours notice is essential to ensure you are not charged. 

All sessions where a payment has been made are non-refundable unless the session is cancelled by SLT.

Can concessionary & standard card members book 48 hours ahead?

Yes they can. Payment must be made at time of booking and bookings can’t be cancelled under any circumstances. 

Will the changing rooms be open for use?

Customers attending pre-booked activities must attend ready to participate. Changing rooms are now open and showers are available in selected areas, remember to always follow social distancing. 

When did memberships become live again?  

When SLT re-opened all memberships were reactivated and made live, members can choose to continue to suspend their membership and either pay as they go for pre-booked activities or wait until they are ready to return. 

When will my first direct debit be taken? 

Direct debit payments were taken from September on your agreed date of either 1st or 12th of the month. Members were able to pre-book and access sessions during August at no cost. This also supports those members who were unable to access services for the full month of March. 

Many service providers have had to increase charges as a result of additional costs resulting from new Covid-19 secure procedures. SLT will maintain membership fees without any increases passed onto you as a result of Covid-19. 

I’d like to come back but I’m not ready?

Don’t worry, please email memberships@slt-leisure.co.uk who will suspend your membership for you. 

What level of cleaning will be taking place at the centres?

All of our facilities have increased cleaning regimes, with an emphasis on cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door furniture, tables, lockers, exercise equipment etc. Enhanced cleaning will be taking place prior to, during and between sessions to support customers and staff.

All sites have installed hand sanitising equipment for use by the public and staff. We do have an expectation that our customers follow new procedures to help them enjoy their visit.

Posters will be displayed prominently in all public areas reinforcing the public health campaign.

All chemicals are sourced from a long standing & trusted local company who have supported us through this difficult time. 

Will my carer be able to come to a session with me / will I be able to come to a session as a carer?

Anyone attending the Centre as a carer will need to book a space and pay for the session online prior to attending the leisure centre of their choice. Upon arrival, once the staff have identified you are there in a caring capacity, you will be refunded the session fee.

Please remember to bring to bring the debit/credit card you made the booking on in order for us to refund you.

Carers linked to the Portway Pass can still attend without booking.

Do I need to bring my own mat to sessions?

We do advise you bring your own mat to sessions if possible. We will have a limited amount of mats to use in our classes which will be sanitised after each class.

Why are there new hours of operation at Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre, Hadley Stadium and Langley Swimming Centre? 

The COVID pandemic has forced SLT to implement a number of changes to our opening hours across the sites. The new opening hours will be available on the timetable. Day time users of these facilities will be able to use Smethwick Swimming Centre during daytime hours.

Can I use a voucher or a guest pass for a free session?

No vouchers or guest passes are being accepted at the moment. But we will reinstate this once we are able to resume to a more normal service. 




Sports specific FAQ

When will the athletics track be open? 

The athletics tracks at Tipton Sports Academy is bookable on our website for casual use. You can find the times available by viewing our timetable.

When will you be open for badminton? 

Badminton bookings are available however players must be from the same household only and own equipment must be used. ID will be required from every player, to be shown at the reception which clearly shows name and the same address for all individuals (e.g. Driving license). Failure to produce valid ID will result in the booking being cancelled, no refunds or credits will be issued if you are refused entry. Badminton is available at Portway Lifestyle Centre, Haden Hill Leisure Centre, Wednesbury Leisure Centre, Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre and Hadley Stadium. You can book a court online.

Is Squash available?

Squash is available to book online at Haden Hill Leisure Centre and Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre however players must be from the same household only and own equipment must be used. ID will be required from every player, to be shown at the reception which clearly shows name and the same address for all individuals (e.g. Driving license). Failure to produce valid ID will result in the booking being cancelled, no refunds or credits will be issued if you are refused entry.

Are tennis courts open? (Aren’t some indoor courts available now?)

Outdoor tennis courts are open and available to be booked online. Indoor tennis courts are available to book online at selected times however players must be from the same household only and own equipment must be used. ID will be required from every player, to be shown at the reception which clearly shows name and the same address for all individuals (e.g. Driving license). Failure to produce valid ID will result in the booking being cancelled, no refunds or credits will be issued if you are refused entry.

How far ahead can tennis be booked for members / non members?

Both members and non members will be able to book courts 7 days ahead. For those with a ONE card, Standard Leisure Pass or Concessionary Leisure Pass costs are Adults £7.50 and Juniors £5.40. Pay as you go court costs are Adults £8.30 & Junior £6.00. 

Is racket hire still available?

Players are advised to bring their own equipment. Any coaching equipment used (e.g. cones) will be cleaned and wiped down afterwards as per LTA guidelines. Please note nets can only be adjusted by centre staff. 

How many people per courts?

LTA Guidelines state singles and doubles can be played with people from different households outdoors. For indoor tennis singles and doubles can be played however players must be from the same household only and own equipment must be used. ID will be required from every player, to be shown at the reception which clearly shows name and the same address for all individuals (e.g. Driving license). Failure to produce valid ID will result in the booking being cancelled, no refunds or credits will be issued if you are refused entry.  Recreational competitions (including club nights), can now take place outdoors as long social distancing guidelines are adhered to and venues follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Maximum four players per court. Any spectators (parents) to be off court and maintain social distancing.

When will tennis programme re-commence? 

The Tipton Sports Academy tennis programme will be returning on 3 indoor tennis courts from Monday 2nd November, with priority given to the group and squad coaching for juniors and adults of all levels. You can find out more info here.

Will the 3G football pitches be open for clubs & booking?

Portway Lifestyle Centre, Hadley Stadium and Tipton Sports Academy are taking bookings for friendly matches & training sessions on their 3G pitches.  Discounts are available for block bookings. Please note there will be no changing facilities available but toilets will be open. 

SLT have drafted a risk assessment for Clubs to follow and a Player code of conduct will need to be observed, click here to view it. All bookings need to follow the FA guidelines. http://www.thefa.com/about-football-association/covid-19

Booking enquiries should be made at: 

Portway Lifestyle Centre - Portwayinfo@slt-leisure.co.uk 

Hadley Stadium - Hadleystadiuminfo@slt-leisure.co.uk 

Tipton Sports Academy - TiptonSAinfo@slt-leisure.co.uk 




Swimming specific FAQ

Will swimming be open and if so at what centres?

Pre-bookable swimming sessions are available at Haden Hill Leisure Centre, Wednesbury Leisure Centre, Smethwick Swimming Centre and Tipton Leisure Centre. You can view a timetable here. This will be kept under continuous review as customer confidence and demand returns. re-opening of all facilities including swimming pools will also be determined by financial viability to do so and will remain under regular review to adapt and change as required.

How do I book a swim session?

You can book all sessions online at www.slt-leisure.co.uk and simply select book online. Click here to view a guide on booking a swim session.

What happens if I can’t attend a pre-booked session? 

ONE card members must cancel their session up to 2 hours before the start of the session, you can cancel a booking by logging in to the booking system and clicking "View future bookings". Select the booking then click "cancel" and then select "request booking cancellation". 

Pre-paid activities however cannot be cancelled online or changed and no refunds will be given.

Cancellations with less than 2 hours notice before the session, none attendance, or not checking in will result in the following:

A charge (based on the cost of the session) will be incurred and you will be unable to pre-book any further sessions until payment is made for this outstanding balance of non-attendance. You have 20 minutes to check into your pre-booked gym or swim session before occurring a charge.

To clear this balance please call 0300 012 0121 and select the centre of your booking.

Those with Standard or Concessionary Leisure Passes and Non-members must pay and pre-book in advance for their activity, refunds are not available for any cancellations.

We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to pre-book and access available sessions.

What level of swimming ability do I need to be to attend?

Lane swimming attendees must be competent swimmers, this means you must be able to safely jump into deep water, tread water for 1 minute continuously and swim 1 length continuously using a recognised swimming stroke.

Can I book a whole lane for private use for my friends and family?

No, initially lane swimming are public lane sessions and are bookable on individual session places only. Public swim sessions and family swim sessions are available, individual session places must be booked and under 8’s policy applies.

Can non-members still come? 

Non-members will be able to book 24 hours ahead from 6.30am. For example a non-member will be able to book on Tuesday at 6.30am for a swim on Wednesday evening. Non-members must pay and pre-book in advance for their activity, refunds are not available for any cancellations. 

How many sessions can you book a day?

Each member can book one gym session, one fitness class and or one lane swim session per day. 

If you are booking a family swim you will need to book in all members of the family separately. If you are a member you must book the other individuals as non-members.

How can I check opening hours and session times?

You can find a list of our opening hours here and our most up to date timetable here.

Why are the opening hours/timetable reduced?

This is a phased re-opening. We will be introducing more sessions and increased hours in a gradual and phased approach as confidence and attendances increase. This will be kept under continuous review and will be subject to the latest guidance and the financial viability to deliver those services. 

Will the changing rooms be open for use?

Customers attending pre-booked activities must attend ready to participate. Changing rooms are now open and showers are available in selected areas, remember to always follow social distancing. 

Will showers and other facilities be available on my visit?

Showers, water fountains, some changing areas and some other facilities you may normally use will be out of action initially. We would ask all users to prepare for their visit, where possible come ready to take part in any activity and leave promptly to enable cleaning and preparation to take place for subsequent sessions.

Will I need to be wearing my swimming costume when I arrive at the centre?

Yes we ask customers, where possible, to come ‘beach ready’ with swimwear on under clothes.  

Is all swimming bookable all of the time?  

Yes, all activities are pre-bookable online and paid for in advance for non-members.

How long will swimming sessions be?

All sessions will be 45 or 60 minutes in duration. Changing rooms will be open however all customers are asked to come arrive “pool ready – swimming costume under clothes” to reduce the amount of time in the changing area. There will be a designated changeover time between each session.

How will lane swimming operate?

Social distancing measures will be maintained in line with Covid-19 Secure Guidance. Pre-booking will also maintain the strict limiting of attendances per session.

Please note that to book Lane Swimming you must be a competent swimmer, this means you must be able to safely jump into deep water, tread water for 1 minute continuously and swim 1 length continuously using a recognised swimming stroke.

Maintain good visual awareness of other swimmers during each session. Over taking in a lane can only be done when it is safe to do so and social distancing can be maintained. Where social distancing cannot be achieved overtaking is restricted to the end of the lane where swimmers should allow faster swimmers through.

Please swim in the most appropriate lane for your ability and rest at the end of the lane only, be conscious of others.

Can I come with my family?

Yes you can but you will need to pre-book each session individually, social distancing will be still be required and under 8’s policy applies.

I tried to book online but I can only book for myself, why is this?

The booking system will only allow one transaction per booking number. If three people wanted to swim at same time they would need to book on their individual membership number or as a non-member.

If three or four of us book the same time we will be allowed to swim in the same lane?

We are not able to guarantee that everyone can swim in the same lane, this will be subject to booking availability and lane capacity for each session.

How wide will the swimming lanes be?

Lanes are typically 2m apart and can operate safely in line with Swim England and Covid-19 Secure guidance for social distancing.

How many people will be allowed per lane?

A maximum of 10 people will be allowed per lane and social distancing must be maintained during each session. Haden Hill Leisure Centre will be operating two lanes, Wednesbury Leisure Centre and Tipton Leisure Centre will be operating three and Smethwick Swimming Centre is operating 2-4 dependant on the session.

Swimmers swim at different speeds how will this work to ensure social distancing? 

Lane swimming etiquette should be maintained which allows for over taking in a lane when it is safe to do so and social distancing can be maintained. All swimmers should maintain good visual awareness of each other and their swimming during each session. Public swimming sessions are available for those not ready to attend a lane swim session.

Will there be lanes just for children / young people?

We will operate ability lanes subject to needs and demands including fast and slow lanes and age limited dependant on bookings. However this is not guaranteed and all swimmers should maintain good visual awareness of each other during each session. Our public swim and family swim sessions don’t have an age or ability limit however under 8’s policy applies.

Will the lockers be available and how will you keep those clean?

Yes lockers can be used, customer self-sanitising stations are provided in conjunction with regular cleaning schedules by our staff.

Can I leave my belongings on the side of pool?

No, lockers should be used as per normal operating procedures. Lockers will be in included in our additional cleaning routine.

Will there be any swimming at Portway Lifestyle Centre?

The hydrotherapy pool will be opening to support the swim academy programme. Other sessions are still under review.

If you would like to an enquiry about a future booking please contact Portwayinfo@slt-leisure.co.uk.

Why is there no swimming at Langley Swimming Centre?

We are opening facilities in a phased way and in line with the latest guidance and safe operation of facilities. As we re-open we will consider the introduction of other aquatic activities including swimming lessons, school sessions and clubs. Where there is demand and facilities are financially viable to do so we will consider re-opening of further centres.

Is free swimming for over 60’s and under 16’s still running? 

Free swimming is now back and available for Sandwell residents will be available for over 60s every day until 1pm and for ages 16 and under during school holidays. Sessions must be booked online find out more here.

What’s the youngest age a swimmer can come on their own?

Under 8’s swimming is not permitted in Lane Swimming sessions. Children 8 years and over must be able to swim competently on their own to participate in a lane swimming session. Children of all ages are permitted in public swim and family sessions however under 8’s policy applies.

Are spectators allowed?

No, initially spectators will not be permitted.  For advice on Swim Academy visit here.

Can I wait in reception for family members swimming?

Yes, but only for children 8-years and over, adults waiting for adults must drop off and arrange to pick up after a session has finished.

Can I stay longer if next session is not full?

No, you will need to pre-book into this session prior to its start. You can check at the reception for the availability of any proceeding sessions.

Can I bring a drink?

Yes you can bring your own drinks, however only cold drinks are permitted on poolside.

What protective equipment will lifeguards be wearing? 

Our staff will wear appropriate uniform and protective clothing in-line with all Covid-19 Secure guidance and safe operation of swimming pools. Staff are also trained to the highest standards and in accordance with latest safe operating procedures. Current lifesaving and industry guidance does not require pool staff to wear any additional protective equipment for their role however additional protective measures are used and trained for a lifesaving incident and or treatment of first aid.

Has Swim Academy (swimming lessons) restarted?

Swim Academy has restarted at all of our centres, to find out more about the changes that have had to be made to Swim Academy please click here.

When can our club restart their sessions?

Club sessions can restart providing social distancing measures are maintained and pool opening operation is financially viable. Clubs must also adhere to strict Covid-19 Secure Swim England guidance.