PHOTO GALLERY: Gymnasts able to train again
ENTERING the gym jumping with excitement, nothing could wipe the smiles off Chinchilla Gymnastics students as they returned to the gym for the first in 12 weeks.
Students who were previously involved in the club started their make up training sessions this week and will continue next week, before the gym opens to new members in term three starting on July 13.
Chinchilla Gymnastic Club President Audrey McGrath said was devastating for the club and their 160 members when we had to close due to coronavirus. Still, she was excited to welcome everyone back into the gym this week.
“Since we closed we have had many of our members telling us how much they have missed coming into the club and we are thrilled to see them again,” she said.
“We are also looking forward to welcoming new members to our club in term three and once again see the enjoyment and benefits that gymnastics brings to people in our community.”
“Gymnastics is not only plenty of fun and safe for children of all ages it also teaches them how to move and develops their strength, flexibility, co-ordination, self-esteem, cognitive functioning and social connections which will all be more important than ever as we move out of isolation.”
When students returned, it was a completely different experience for them with club implementing some strict new coronavirus rules.
Parents were no longer able to watch their children during training, and students were encouraged as much as possible to use the toilet before classes and parents are encouraged to communicate with coaches through texts and emails.
“When it comes to in the actual gymnasium, we have taped out squares so when doing floor exercises each student has a designated space to ensure social distancing,” McGrath said.
“We also aren’t allowed to have any more than 20 children in the gym at one time, and they must be 1.5 metres apart at all times.
“We have increased our cleaning, and all equipment must be wiped down and sanitised before the next class, and it must be de-sanitised as much as possible.
“We will be using hand sanitiser, and we will be applying for grants so we can get sinks installed.
“We have also shortened our lessons to ensure there is enough time in between classes for students to leave before the next lot comes in.
“Finally we’ve also made sure that groups that leave through a different area to what they enter in though.”
Although things are a lot different at the club, the club always will ensure safety first even if at times it proves to be a challenge.
“So far things are going well,” McGrath said.
“It’s been challenging for younger ones so social distance, but soon it will feel like the new normal, and we will have to wait to see what changes come in the future.
“For now, I’m just excited to be back.”