Practice time slots for City of Turku outdoor sports facilities during summer and time slots for school gymnasiums and ball game halls during summer and winter have been distributed. New applications can still be made.

Practices at outdoor sports facilities start in May. At indoor sports facilities, practices start at the beginning of June at the earliest. The gathering restrictions caused by the coronavirus epidemic will be respected.

Application procedure for time slots has been reformed successfully

The procedure of applying for time slots at indoor sports facilities and outdoor ball game courts/fields was reformed this spring.  There were more applications for sports facilities now than during the last season but thanks to the grading approach now taken into use for time slot application, the processing of applications has been quick and smooth. The application system for time slots is further developed e.g. by expanding target groups in the next application period in spring 2021.

– The distribution of time slots for summer and winter, which is done every spring, is always a hectic time in our unit. This spring, the coronavirus situation has brought extra challenges to the process, says Customer Service Manager Susanna Hatanpää from the time slot distribution unit at City of Turku Sports Services.

Some time slots still available – don’t hesitate to apply

When the applications submitted by the deadline have been processed, time slots for regular practice can be applied for through the so-called continuous application process just like in previous years. There are still time slots available so you may be able to have one even if you didn’t apply during the actual application period. Time slots for regular practice can be applied for even in the middle of the season. For instance, those who have been granted a time slot at an indoor gymnasium have been instructed to communicate potential cancellations by the end of May. New time slots may then become available again.

Large gymnasiums are popular

In gymnasiums, there are 5 to 6 hours of time available for practices on weekdays. There is much more demand for large gymnasiums than the facilities can meet. The occupancy rate of the most popular gymnasiums during weekday evenings is close to 100 per cent. To maximise the efficient use of gymnasiums, time slots are placed close to each other without delay times in between.

– Not all applicants can be granted the space and time they would prefer. This is understandably frustrating. In these situations, we have aimed at offering an alternative slot, says Anne Lehmus-Valtonen, secretary managing bookings.

At the same time, she is glad that the grading approach taken into use this spring gives the applicant more information already during the application phase about which slot might be available for them.

Changes to available gymnasiums

Renovations in gymnasiums cause cancellations of time slots and sometimes gymnasiums are even removed from sports facility use. In the coming winter, the gymnasiums of Juhana Herttua, Lyseo and Luolavuori are out of use. The same goes for Lauste gymnasium which has already been removed from use. Gymnasiums of Ruiskatu and Hepokulta are taken back into use along with Katedralskolan and Puolala School facilities that are smaller than the removed facilities.

Changes to time slot distribution for Turku-based football clubs

The distribution of time slots at outdoor fields and Impivaara football hall for Turku-based football clubs has been previously managed by the Western Finland district organisation of the Football Association of Finland that has a cooperation agreement with City of Turku Sports Services. This spring, the distribution of time slots in its entirety became the responsibility of Sports Services.

– The transition phase has been discussed with football leagues. Regardless of new practices and schedule, the distribution of time slots was completed on time. We are going to make some small further adjustments to this process for next spring, Susanna Hatanpää says.

Exercise time slots for different groups

Time slots have been distributed in accordance with distribution principles approved by Turku Sports Committee where e.g. time slots for children and adolescents, sports facility-specific main user groups and the strongest series level have been taken into consideration. Also the number of participants, opportunities for neighbourhood sports and continuity of activities are taken into account.

In the distribution of time slots, the objective is to promote practice opportunities for Turku-based clubs in a way that their success in national series would continue and that the operating of lower rank series would also be active. In addition to goal-directed competitive sports, time slots are given for recreational exercise promoting health, fitness and sociability.