Save Alberta Gymnastics Clubs

Save Alberta Gymnastics Clubs

December 8, 2020
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Signatures: 326Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Danielle Clark

Please help save Alberta Gymnastics Clubs! Shutting down for four weeks will be the demise of clubs in Alberta.

In Alberta, the Gymnastics Community is comprised of small businesses which are run by their owners/coaches in school gymnasiums, church halls or their own facilities. Enrolment has been severely affected by Covid-19 since the beginning of this season following the shutdown in March.

Clubs have implemented all the guidelines that the Alberta Government/AHS/AGF have recommended since the beginning of the pandemic when we were permitted to open. Many sanitary guidelines were already in place due to the nature of this sport.

The gymnasts are the same ages of the children who are allowed to attend school with and without masks; 4 years to 18 years of age. Therefore we strongly believe that the Ministry of Health should permit gymnasts to attend training at their clubs with the same provisions that are made for children attending Elementary and Secondary schools in the province.

With this shutdown for gymnastics clubs, we are told we can not operate for four weeks. The guidelines that we currently have in place that limit athletes in the building and limit coach to athlete ratios are being followed. These regulations make masks and distancing mandatory and a complete shutdown unnecessary for the individual sport of gymnastics. 

The shutdown is not feasible for many clubs to stay in business. If these restrictions continue, the sport of Gymnastics (an Olympic sport) will cease to exist in Canada.

Gymnastics, or any sport in fact, is an important aspect in children’s physical & mental well-being. During this time, children need some normalcy. A place to feel joy, share their successes and disappointments with their team, a place to strive to be their personal best, a place to build friendships for life and a place that feels like a second home.

In front of our own eyes, we have seen the transformation of children since lockdown to now. The anxiety and stress kids were forced to navigate when they first returned was unbearable to witness and through these months back in the gym, parents have commented on how much happier the kids are since they returned to the gym, the increase in smiles they've witnessed, and the reduction in anxiety felt by the kids. The biggest role of coaches is to support our athletes & always will be. They need us now more than ever!

The gymnastics clubs are appealing to the Minister of Health, Minister of Sport and the Premier of Alberta to reconsider not penalizing these small business owners and to allow them to stay open and operate with guidelines that we had set for the past two weeks.

(Please note this was modified from the Ontario Gymnastics Petition). 

We thank you for your time.

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