Gymnastics clubs across Herts get support from the governing body to return

PUBLISHED: 13:34 09 July 2020

Stevenage Sports Acro Club are one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hit

Stevenage Sports Acro Club are one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hit

Archant

Hertfordshire’s gymnastics community are set to receive support from British Gymnastics, as the governing body announces a number of measures to help delivery providers, participants and the wider community return to the sport safely and with confidence.

Stevenage Sports Acro Club are one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hitStevenage Sports Acro Club are one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hit

The ‘Step Forward Plan’ will see substantial re-investment into the gymnastics community through financial support to participants, club resources and discounts on coaching courses, when they resume.

Highlights of the nationwide support package include;

*A Hardship Fund of £110,000, in partnership with British Gymnastics Foundation, that will give financial support to gymnasts affected by COVID-19

*£126,000 worth of resources are being made available free to British Gymnastics clubs which will help them get ready for a safe return to gymnastics, to include a series of guides, webinars and support tools for clubs and coaches and COVID-19 club resources pack

Stevenage Sports Acro Club are one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hitStevenage Sports Acro Club are one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hit

*Discounts on targeted coaching courses (when they resume) to ensure providers have the workforce they need to meet the needs of their programmes. This will equal an investment of £50,000 by the governing body.

*Significant subsidies for participants on membership with further details to be announced in July

British Gymnastics chief executive officer Jane Allen said: “I know it has been a hugely challenging time for everyone in the sport and we are doing all that we can to help our participants come back quickly and safely to the sport that we all love.

“The gymnastics community will be absolutely essential to the re-socialisation of young people across the country and I believe that these measures will provide important support to the grassroots of the sport.

“I am incredibly proud of the Hertfordshire gymnastics community. They are a passionate group of people who are committed to helping children and young people enjoy our sport and I fully appreciate how tough it has been for many people during the pandemic.

“As the national governing body for the sport, we have produced the Step Forward Plan to give guidance to our members and partners on how we can work together to ensure a safe return to gymnastics. These measures will help many people in gymnastics communities all across the UK.”

Stevenage Sports Acro Club are just one local club who had to close their doors once the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Head coach Lisa Lavelle added: “We had to cease training which meant our membership fees were frozen and we could no longer pay our coaches which was very hard. We have however adapted by creating online Zoom classes for the children as well as some virtual competitions and NHS fundraisers to keep our gymnasts engaged.

“We recently started some outdoor training sessions which have been absolutely great for the children to see some of their friends and coaches again. British Gymnastics has been great – I received a phone call shortly after lockdown to ask how the club was doing and how I was doing as a coach – this really helped boost my morale.

“The communication received has been first class and given us some ideas on how to engage with our gymnasts. The Step Forward Plan is really informative and has helped us to put a plan in place for our return, considering how our coaching and the way the club is run will have to adapt in line with social distancing and hygiene measures.”

For more information on British Gymnastics’ ‘Step Forward Plan, visit www.british-gymnastics.org/step-forward.


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