Greater Napanee Gymnastics Club got some news worth flipping over last Friday.
The local club learned they’d been given the go ahead to re-open from Gymnastics Ontario, KFLA Public Health and the Ontario government. Coaches and staff wasted no time, launching a summer camp, recreational classes and competitive program with more evening classes in the works.
Shortly after putting the word out on social media, the club was inundated with calls from parents and guardians looking to register their kids. On Monday, they welcomed young gymnasts back to the club for the first time since March.
“I kind of expected with summer camps, people were going to go to work and need places for their kids to go,” said GNGC coach Ange Herrington. “I didn’t expect the demand for the evening classes that we got. The response was amazing. When I sat and thought about it, kids have been stuck inside for four months with no structured sports or organized activities for them to do. I think it’s a good thing for them to get out of the house and to do something.”
The news came as a pleasant surprise to the gym, which expected to have to wait for Stage 3 to be given the nod to open. Instead they were granted permission a few days early based on the fact gymnastics is, for the most part, an individual sport that lends itself well to physical distancing.
“I’ve been impressed with how quickly the kids and the staff have evolved with the new steps that we have to take,” Herrington said following Monday’s classes. “I think everybody’s just excited to be back in the gym.”
Working closely with KFLA Public Health, the club has developed increased safety measures to limit the risk of COVID-19.
“We just went crazy with all the duct tape, we’ve got everything marked up and it’s nice and bright colours so the kids can see it,” said Herrington. “The majority of the equipment is easily wiped which is good and then we’ve got a couple of specialized cleaning things that we had to do, we had to get a fogger, because the beams and the bars and the floor we couldn’t wiped them down, but everyday they get fogged with this disinfectant.”
Parents who enter the gym will be required to wear a mask, as will all the coaches and staff. Kids taking part in the class aren’t required to wear a mask.
Herrington says they are still accepting registration for some of the programs. For more information visit their Greater Napanee Gymnastics Facebook page or call 613-354-0696. They can also be found online at http://gngc19.wix.com/gngc.