Skip to main content

South Salt Lake Journal

South Salt Lake open play basketball is fun wintertime exercise

Jan 29, 2019 02:26PM ● By Brian Shaw

Open gym is going at South Salt Lake’s Columbus Center. (Pixabay)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected] 

For adults across South Salt Lake, one thing seemed to be missing a few years ago. Basketball, the preeminent sport of kings at just about every LDS Church ward house was inexplicably missing from the lineup at the Columbus Center.

"There were some people who requested it, so I started the program and have been running it November through March on Tuesday and Thursday evenings," said Dustin Permann, recreation coordinator for the City of South Salt Lake. 

Once winter hits, Permann added that there are few sporting options for adults. This one, however, gives them the opportunity to slip on their kicks, pull up their socks, throw on their Jazz jerseys and hoop it up with the best of them. 

As the years have gone by, so have the turnouts. "One of our part-time staff supervise the program, and there are usually 10-12 people [attending] per night," Permann said. 

On any given night, he added that they have had as many as 20 show up, and there are around 40 who have registered since November. 

But don't let the numbers detract you from coming out. Permann wanted everyone to know that this isn't nearly as heated as say, your local church ball game. "The competition is fairly recreational, but they get some good pickup games going," he added. 

To play in this Open Gym, you must be 18 or older. Lest you think you'll sneak in as an underage Donovan Mitchell wannabe, Permann did caution that your ID card will be copied and a record will be taken of it. 

Also, there are a few rules that the department asks its patrons to follow—just to keep the peace. And they do req uire all participants sign a waiver, which you can see here. 

Other than that, Permann just wants area residents to have a fun, healthy outlet—which the Open Gym provides. You pay just $1 per night or $20 for the season, he said. 

"We still want to give our residents as many chances as possible to be active even with having the barrier of no traditional Recreation Center in our city, especially during the colder months."