Through six months of lockdown, gymnastics clubs up and down the country got creative to keep their gymnasts engaged and active from home.
With many clubs in the UK now reopening their doors, it’s been great to hear how excited everyone is to be back.
Like many clubs during lockdown, Dolphina Gymnastics in Watford managed to stay connected with their members through daily challenges and zoom sessions. Having reopened at the end of July, they are delighted to have welcomed their members back in a phased approach since then.
Teresa O’Neill is one of the Directors at the club and said: “We have marked out the gym and separated it into sections. It’s been a challenge, and we know there is a long road ahead, but it’s great to be back in the gym, and our gymnasts have been amazing throughout this period.”
It has been great to see so many clubs and gymnasts returning, and new members being welcomed into the sport.
British Gymnastics President Helen Phillips MBE said: “Many young gymnasts have missed their friends and clubmates terribly over the past four months and will be overjoyed to be going back to their local club. Across Britain, so many clubs have done amazing work to get ready to reopen in a Covid-secure environment.
“It’s time to get back to gymnastics, renew friendships and get active. Gymnastics is a community sport and clubs are at the heart of it.”
During lockdown, resources made available to all British Gymnastics member clubs through the Step Forward Plan have also been well received. Along with guidance on how to ensure the safe return of gymnastics, the Step Forward Plan also included free banners and signage for clubs to put up in their facility explaining the new safety measures.
Ascendance School of Gymnastics from Downpatrick in Northern Ireland were one of the many clubs to access the Plan, with Neil Kennedy, Director at the club, saying: “We’ve been using all of the resources and guidance from British Gymnastics, which has been super helpful, and I very much feel we’ve hit the ground running with our return to the sport.”
A return date came soon after for Wales and Sandra White, Director and Head Coach at Swansea Gymnastics Centre did a lot of work with the staff at her club to get prepared: “We’ve deep cleaned the facility from top to bottom and are using the signage and resources we’ve received from British and Welsh Gymnastics throughout the gym to ensure our members follow the right procedures but continue to enjoy their experience with us.”
Although not all clubs have been able to return just yet, we are hopeful that this can and will happen in the coming weeks. The feedback received from clubs that have been able to open has been positive, with many gymnasts enjoying getting back to gymnastics, albeit in a different environment to the beginning of the year.
Over the next 12 months our focus will be continuing to keep our community active, healthy and safe, supporting our registered clubs and members.
Remember, once your club is registered with British Gymnastics, if you are a gymnast or hold a club role, you can join or renew your membership for a reduced annual fee until 31st October 2020.
Our Step Forward Plan area remains accessible for all clubs and includes guidance documents and information for a safe return. If you or your club need additional support, our Customer Support team can be contacted on email at [email protected] or by phone on 0345 1297129.