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Gymnastics club marks 20 years

Since Saldanha Bay Gymnastics Club was established in 2000 it has been in the forefront of promoting gymnastics on the West Coast.

Twenty years of the sport

Saldanha Bay Gymnastics Club (SGC) is an artistic club that serves both boys and girls from four years and older. It was established by head coach Melvin Edwards when there was no gymnastics in the West Coast.

Currently the club operates from its own well-equipped training venue in Jacobsbaai.

To date the club has produced many provincial, national and regional gymnasts and champions, and as recently as 2017 the club also produced international club champions.

The current gymnastics coach of Stellenbosch University and assistant coach of Free State University both trained as gymnasts and learnt their coaching skills at the club.

Coaches keep things running

The club is run by a group of dedicated coaches under the leadership of Edwards. SGC provides leadership training as well as coaches training and gymnast development for the whole of the West Coast and occasionally for the province.

As a community club it cannot survive on its own, and the management team is grateful and thankful for all its partners, friends and sponsors who supported them during the past years.

Partners like Signage Vredenburg, HLT Saldanha, Cleanship Marine, Making Special Memories of Vanguard Mall, Frank’s Hardware Store and so many others.

Department of Culture and Sport (DCAS) as well as the West Coast District Sport Council and the West Coast Gymnastics Federation also annually contribute towards the success of the club, Edwards says.

Development the name of the game

The club also assists with the development of gymnastics and sport leadership within the broader West Coast by also allowing children from less privileged areas to train at the club, and also developing teachers and community sport leaders.

Because of its involvement in the community the club has been given hub status by the national federation the SAGF support by SRSA and the National Lottery Fund.

The club is fully equipped, with competition-standard equipment, to accommodate both boys and girls’ artistic gymnastics. Advance equipment is like an inflatable Airtrac, and 12 m trampoline trac ensures that gymnasts learn, attempt and master difficult tumbling skills in a safe environment.

Coping during Covid-19

As with every other organisation the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the club hard.

But as a gymnastics club teaching children to land on their feet, the dedication and hard work of the coaches and tenacity of its gymnasts and parents ensure the club is slowly (but surely) recovering.

During the lockdown the coaches participated in online health and safety courses to prepare them for training during and after a pandemic. The aim was to not only achieve the minimum requirements, but going above and beyond to ensure the safety of all who participate in the club. Management also appointed a safety and compliance officer and established a safety committee with a medical doctor and other medical professionals was part of this committee to ensure all health protocols are met.

Getting used to the new normal

The club is slowly recovering as gymnasts are returning to training, although its doors are open to new members. Specialist training programmes as well as a coordinated curriculum ensure gymnasts’ development is done safely and are age-appropriate.

Training occurs in groups that are no larger than a few gymnasts per session, with tuition twice a week.

The club philosophy is a simple one: “First learn to love the sport and have fun in the sport, and the success and achievements will follow.”

Gymnasts are encouraged to socialise and make friends in the friendly, safe environment and are taught that sport is more than just competing it is about making friends, it is about building bridges, learning about others’ cultures and learning to interact with children and people from the wide diverse communities that is in the West Coast.

Join the Saldanha Bay Gymnastics Club

The club is still taking on new members or new applications for 2021, so feel free to contact any of the numbers below to find out if there is still space for your little one.

Early childhood development, healthy social skills, emotional strength and teaching your child commitment in a safe fun environment that is Saldanha Gymnastics, join us.

Give the club team a call on 082 655 6944 for more information.

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