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COVID-19 / Coronavirus Gymnastics Club Reopening Steps / Process

Flipfloppy

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(I'm positive that no parents at our gym have any concerns).

THE single most important thing to understand about coaches who sexually abuse athletes is that abusers groom the community around them, especially other adults, so that no one has concerns about the abuser. One of the greatest risk factors for an athlete being abused is parents who trust their child's coach to the point that they can't fathom that the coach wouldn't abuse an athlete. There's a line between trusting your children's coach/teacher/youth activity leader and acknowledging that you can't know that an adult wouldn't be inappropriate with a child or especially a teenager.

Children and teenagers tend to disclose grooming in very small bits and it's often interactions that can be explained away. By the time grooming advances to outright abuse, the child/teenager has "heard" that their parent trusts the coach more than the parent trusts the child's subjective experience of being uncomfortable.

I'm not saying that your trust in your child's coach is misplaced or that you should have concerns. As a survivor of sexual abuse by a coach who watched several teammates be abused by another coach and now works in CSA prevention, I want every parent reading this to understand how fundamentally important it is to understand that if your child or one of your child's teammates is being groomed or abused, the coach will have groomed you too so that you don't have concerns.
 

GymMamaX3

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I really don't think parents should be allowed to enter the gyms at all during this coronavirus time. I realize that the safe sport rules dictate that parents must be allowed to watch practice to protect the gymnasts -but I think that at this time having extra people in the gym is more of a danger than a safety precaution. This is of course assuming that there are no suspected safety issues at the gym (I'm positive that no parents at our gym have any concerns). There is data suggesting that kids are less likely to spread the virus than adults are, particularly to other kids.

I commented this on another thread: The gymnast lives with the parent, rode in the car with the parent, hugged the parent goodbye. The parent doesn't have anything the gymnast doesn't have. I don't think it makes a difference if the parent enters with the gymnast, and in general I don't like the idea of dropping my kid off somewhere I'm not allowed to enter (my kids are still young). I think this falls in the category of things that look better/make us feel safer, rather than something that actually makes us all safer.
 

SHELOVESGYM

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I commented this on another thread: The gymnast lives with the parent, rode in the car with the parent, hugged the parent goodbye. The parent doesn't have anything the gymnast doesn't have. I don't think it makes a difference if the parent enters with the gymnast, and in general I don't like the idea of dropping my kid off somewhere I'm not allowed to enter (my kids are still young). I think this falls in the category of things that look better/make us feel safer, rather than something that actually makes us all safer.

I disagree. For one thing there is very strong evidence that the virus is much less likely to be transmitted from kid to kid than from adult to kid or kid to adult and especially adult to adult -so while the adult and the kid live together the possibility of transmission is stronger if the adult is also in the gym. Also, living together does not always mean that if one person has the virus everyone has the virus -there have been many cases of families where only one or two member(s) tested positive. Also, I don't know of a single school that allows parents in the classroom or in the school other than for some special meetings and events, so I never understand why parents feel they need to be allowed into the gym "for safety reasons." I have another child who is in an activity where parents are pretty much never allowed to sit and watch, and I'm fine with this and I've never heard of a parent who complained about this policy. It always surprises me that people feel differently about gymnastics.
 
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SHELOVESGYM

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THE single most important thing to understand about coaches who sexually abuse athletes is that abusers groom the community around them, especially other adults, so that no one has concerns about the abuser. One of the greatest risk factors for an athlete being abused is parents who trust their child's coach to the point that they can't fathom that the coach wouldn't abuse an athlete. There's a line between trusting your children's coach/teacher/youth activity leader and acknowledging that you can't know that an adult wouldn't be inappropriate with a child or especially a teenager.

Children and teenagers tend to disclose grooming in very small bits and it's often interactions that can be explained away. By the time grooming advances to outright abuse, the child/teenager has "heard" that their parent trusts the coach more than the parent trusts the child's subjective experience of being uncomfortable.

I'm not saying that your trust in your child's coach is misplaced or that you should have concerns. As a survivor of sexual abuse by a coach who watched several teammates be abused by another coach and now works in CSA prevention, I want every parent reading this to understand how fundamentally important it is to understand that if your child or one of your child's teammates is being groomed or abused, the coach will have groomed you too so that you don't have concerns.


Good point and something for all of us parents to keep in mind.
 

MuggleMom

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Dec 22, 2016
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I think that if Parents felt strongly about being able to watch practice you could set up a schedule. Last names A-M parents can stay On Monday/Wed/Friday parents with last name N-Z Tues/Thurs/Saturday that should ensure that you have at least some parents there every day so even if you personally arent there you know that the kids arent in a completely parent free zonen (or work out something where you have specific days you can watch and others have specifc days they can watch so never are all parents there at the same time). Even if you open up parent viewing not all parents stay so I think if you had specific days for groups you would only have a few people on any given day there so a lesser risks. Or as others have said make a password protected way to watch remote. Parents could also stay onsite but in the car if they didnt want to leave the kids unattended but they didnt want congregation in the waiting area. I just feel like knowing a parent could be there or come at anytime is helpful deterrent but obviously would never solve the issue of abuse all together.

I have found at our gym alot of team parents dont stay the waiting room is mostly full of rec parents and parents of some of the younger team groups (level 3 parents with younger girls) I am one of the few parents of the older girls (my dd is 10) that stay and watch (though I dont do it every practice for the full practice) There are lots of parents that drop off and pick up only even when there isnt a pandemic. I just watch because I enjoy it and sometimes its nice to be out of my house lol. If they said we couldnt stay generally I wouldnt be conscerned as long as it was a temporary thing for a specific reason (health reasons in this instance)
 

kendo348

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I never understand why parents feel they need to be allowed into the gym "for safety reasons." I have another child who is in an activity where parents are pretty much never allowed to sit and watch, and I'm fine with this and I've never heard of a parent who complained about this policy. It always surprises me that people feel differently about gymnastics.

People never think it will happen to them until it does. Gym parents speak up because as a community we have hindsight.

That hindsight doesn’t apply to only gym. I am also as vigilant as possible about school, church, friend’s houses, relatives... I can’t keep my kids in a bubble and there are varying levels of control I have over my children’s safety in various places. But I have enough experience - from not one but each of those places, unfortunately way more experiences than I would wish - to know that it’s wise to always employ whatever measures are available to me.
 

mommyof1

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Our orthodontist's office is using a hypochlorous acid fogger to disinfect the entire office multiple times per day. This technology is supposedly used on airplanes and cruise ships, which doesn't necessarily inspire confidence, but it might be something to look into.
 

Freddy's Fred

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I disagree. For one thing there is very strong evidence that the virus is much less likely to be transmitted from kid to kid than from adult to kid or kid to adult and especially adult to adult -so while the adult and the kid live together the possibility of transmission is stronger if the adult is also in the gym. Also, living together does not always mean that if one person has the virus everyone has the virus -there have been many cases of families where only one or two member(s) tested positive. Also, I don't know of a single school that allows parents in the classroom or in the school other than for some special meetings and events, so I never understand why parents feel they need to be allowed into the gym "for safety reasons." I have another child who is in an activity where parents are pretty much never allowed to sit and watch, and I'm fine with this and I've never heard of a parent who complained about this policy. It always surprises me that people feel differently about gymnastics.
This is actually not true. Kids are great vectors. they spread the virus just as easily as adults, they just don't tend to get sick.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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This is actually not true. Kids are great vectors. they spread the virus just as easily as adults, they just don't tend to get sick.

I believed this too, but there is some preliminary evidence that for this particular virus, children are not as likely to spread it. However, from what I understand the study was very small and fundamentally flawed. But friends in Australia say the government is really pushing to keep schools open and using this study frequently as justification (I'm not up on Aussie news or politics, this is just what I've been told. I *have* read about the issues with the study.) I hope they will do a better one soon. It would be great news if true!

RE: Abuse. Thankyou Flipfloppy. Every time I hear a sports parent say they trust their coaches completely and they aren't at all worried about abuse I cringe. I do trust our coaches and I'm not particularly worried about abuse, or I wouldn't be at this gym, but abusers are almost always people the parents trust to be in their children's lives. It's my job to keep her safe - that's one among many reasons I wouldn't have my kid in a gym (or any sport) that had closed practices. That's not any kind of guarantee of course, but it's just one thing I can do.

However, as I said in a thread on Facebook, I see a fundamental difference in a gym that has a no parent policy because they don't want parents watching, and a temporary no parent policy because of a worldwide pandemic. I would never accept the former, but the latter makes sense and I don't have a problem with it. I'd imagine most gyms could at least figure out some form of streaming practice during this time though, especially with only small numbers in the gym.
 

JessSyd

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But friends in Australia say the government is really pushing to keep schools open and using this study frequently as justification (I'm not up on Aussie news or politics, this is just what I've been told. I *have* read about the issues with the study.) I hope they will do a better one soon. It would be great news if true!

From Australia - the federal government is pushing this line very hard. They are desperate for schools to reopen. But it is the states that control education so the federal government is not getting it entirely their way.

So watch this space as we do the big experiment. We have two states with roughly similar population numbers and amounts of circulating virus. My state is reopening schools from next week and the other plans to continue remote schooling until at least their next school holidays (late June I think). It will be interesting to observe whether it makes a difference in the number of new cases in each state.

(I am just talking about the two states here with the most virus. Most other states have had fewer cases of Covid and either never stopped face to face schooling or have largely restarted it again. Even the most affected states kept school open for children of essential workers or from vulnerable backgrounds. Daycare for preschool children never stopped here, although many parents withdrew their kids).
 
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Aussie_coach

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Well an announcement was just made about schools in my state in Australia (Queensland). From next week all Kindergarten, Prep, Grade 1, Grade 11 and Grade 12 students will return to school.

Those in Grade 2-10 will have two wait another further two weeks to return May 25th as long as all goes well in the lead up to that.
 
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JBS

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The poll associated with this thread is now closed. The general public can now view the results at the following link...


Here are the results in order from most to least voted for...

CB-COVID-19-poll-results.pdf
 

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SMH

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A group (I don’t know how big of a group but the email said ‘most’ owners) of gymnastics club owners in Illinois are in contact with state representatives and Illinois congress members working on what phase of reopening gymnastics clubs can fit into. We received this info graphic and a form letter to forward to reps and senators.
77DD4CE7-3D7F-4CAE-93D3-9519573E8EC9.jpeg
 

moogacat

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USAG-Ky made a plan similar to the one SMH posted and submitted it to our Governor's office. For what it's worth, speaking as someone who is working in the public health/COVID-19 compliance area right now, substantive, thoughtful plans for enforcing social distancing, outlining sanitation protocols, and providing for contact tracing submitted to decision-makers are much more likely to get an industry reopened than a petition.
 

FlippinLilysMom

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USAG-Ky made a plan similar to the one SMH posted and submitted it to our Governor's office. For what it's worth, speaking as someone who is working in the public health/COVID-19 compliance area right now, substantive, thoughtful plans for enforcing social distancing, outlining sanitation protocols, and providing for contact tracing submitted to decision-makers are much more likely to get an industry reopened than a petition.
A plan for reopening was also created a couple of weeks ago. Most of the large gyms in my area did the same.
 
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SMH

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USAG-Ky made a plan similar to the one SMH posted and submitted it to our Governor's office. For what it's worth, speaking as someone who is working in the public health/COVID-19 compliance area right now, substantive, thoughtful plans for enforcing social distancing, outlining sanitation protocols, and providing for contact tracing submitted to decision-makers are much more likely to get an industry reopened than a petition.
Our gym already received a reply from our state rep saying he’s working on getting answers. We are the only gymnastics facility in our county so I hope hes taking it seriously.
 
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gymisforeveryone

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Here in Europe (Finland) the situation is starting to look better. This week we got a permission to start training outside in small groups (max 10 people including coaches and spectators). So now the upper levels have started practicing outside! It has been super fun to meet everyone again. My working day consists of 5 hours of coaching outside and the weather has not been very warm even if it's already mid-May and usually at this time it starts to get warmer and more summer-like. I've been freezing but the girls have been OK since they are constantly moving.

So far we have been on a t&f field, playgrounds, soccer field and back yards of the team members. I've been happy to notice that basically all of the optionals and upper compulsories have returned to practice and they are excited to be back working again! Almost all of them have been very active and done all the home workouts and Zooms and many have even built some new endurance. We tried some rope climbs with one group and that wasn't success at all, most of them could take like 2 steps and they used to be able to climb all the way up in 15 seconds before all of this... And chin up pullovers were hard, some struggled to do 5. Surprisingly all of them could do at least 3-10 decent kips on strap bar still. Leg lifts were ok and chin up ok. They were all sore on the second day even if we started slow.

Hopefully we will get back in the gym on June 1st. But we are still waiting for more specific guidelines about how many people can be in the building at the same time.
 

Jazzjerz

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Aug 18, 2013
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A little late to the party, but our gym just released guidelines for when they begin to return next week. Not mentioned here is the fact that we will be signing girls up for time slots, based on family availability. I do wish they had instituted static groups of girls so they had consistent training partners and exposure, but I understand that schedules are wonky.
 

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ldw4mlo

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Also the FDA recommendation is still to wipe down shopping cart handles. So what about gymnastics equipment?

Apples and oranges

The difference between a shopping cart and gym equipment.

You have no idea how many people have touched the shopping cart or what the state of their health is.

You have control at gym. You know exactly who has touched the equipment.When and how often it is cleaned. Since you know the people who have come in contact with the equipment, you would hopefully know the state of their health. Should someone be less then forthcoming a positive test will trigger a call from your state health department and contact tracing would begin.

I wipe down the shopping cart handles even in non pandemic times. I work in a hospital lab and have been working this whole time.

I have not wiped down my groceries or shoes. I do wash my counters and hands frequently.

This comes down to hand washing, sanitizing work surfaces, stay home when sick...... Wear a mask.
Also the three Cs, limit time in closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.

Again, a crowded movie theater/air plane/mall very different then a gym where you know who is there and when. More apples and oranges.