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Uncertainty over Gymnastics return

By Rachael Glennie

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When the Government imposed the current lockdown and guidelines, both Scottish Gymnastics and British Gymnastics made the decision to cancel all competitions and events until June.

Garioch Gym
Garioch Gym

Further to that, a statement released by Scottish Gymnastics on May 6 stated that upcoming events through to September would now be cancelled.

Gymnastic Coaches are being actively encouraged to do online sessions but they are limiting training to basic gymnastic skills, flexibility and elements.

Commenting on the impact the lockdown has had on their club a spokeswoman for the Garioch Gymnastics Club said: “The Club has not been operating since the start of lockdown.

“Our Head coach and our Trustees are helping to keep the Club going while we are closed.

“We have put up a daily exercise based video that all areas of the club from pre-school to competitive have enjoyed and we have keep in touch with everyone through zoom so that parents and gymnasts can be engaged with the club.

“External organisations have also been doing some great sessions that we have directed members to.

“Staff have continued to meet through zoom and Skype in order that we check in and see how everyone is coping through this difficult period.

“So far, with support available we have managed to keep all of our staff on payroll.

“As soon as there are clear guidelines as to how and when we can open and run classes we will look forward to doing so.

“It may be that those classes where parents have to stay with their child will be the last to be offered but at some point we hope to have all our classes back."

When asked about how social distancing measures would have an impact on the club once they reopen, Garioch Gymnastics Club said: “Before we closed we stopped parents and Carers from coming into the gym with their children.

“This will probably continue when we go back but we will take further advice from our sports governing body and Scottish Government as to how we should manage social distancing within our sport.

“We will probably limit numbers to classes so that we can distance gymnasts throughout the building.

“This may mean we increase numbers of classes so that children have an equal opportunity to restart their sport.

“We are in no doubt there will be significant changes to the way we operate moving forward which will have a financial impact for our charitable organisation.

Garioch girls travel across the country to compete including a recent event in Liverpool.
Garioch girls travel across the country to compete including a recent event in Liverpool.

Garioch Gymnastics Club say, at the moment, it is unlikely they will run any competitions in the near future:

“At the moment we are likely to follow the governing body guidelines with regard to competition.

“We would see little point in offering a competition where parents and family could not come to support their child so it is unlikely for the foreseeable future that we would run any competitions.

“It will take competitive gymnasts some time to get back to where they were fitness and skill wise before lockdown and so it may be that competitions do not take priority.”

Commenting on their decision in March to cancel all competitions and events, Governing Body, Scottish Gymnastics said:

“We understand and share the disappointment of the gymnasts, coaches and clubs “involved but the health and wellbeing of our members is our main concern.

"We are all aware of the challenges the coronavirus has brought to our day-to-day lives, and we feel it is important to provide certainty at this time to help alleviate any concerns around competitions.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to make our community aware that Scottish Gymnastics and British Gymnastics are continuing to work together and with the technical committees and panels and our performance teams to look at options for each discipline for reviving their competition programmes later in the year.

“We will make further announcements about these plans when we can.”

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