A gymnastics club has welcomed members back following the coronavirus lockdown.
Over the last few months, Valleys Gymnastics Academy (VGA) has had to run virtual classes, using video conferencing app Zoom.
The club, which has nearly 3,000 members in its ranks, is now holding socially-distanced classes at its base in Crumlin, with measures in place to keep members safe while Covid-19 continues to circulate.
Melissa Anderson, VGA managing director, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic to be back in the gym. The kids were buzzing to be back and loved returning to the gym environment with their friends – it’s given them some normality, which is lovely to see.”
When lockdown started, the club had to furlough a number of staff members as it was forced to move all classes online due to government-imposed restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Ms Anderson added: “The feedback from the parents has been absolutely phenomenal and the whole experience has really made me see how important gymnastics is for the mental health and social connections of our members and their families.
“We’ve been following the guidance supplied to us by British and Welsh Gymnastics. I think we’ve done absolutely everything we could have done to open in a safe way for our gymnasts.”
British Gymnastics president, Helen Phillips MBE, said: “The hard work of all the staff and coaches at Valleys Gymnastics Academy is superb to see and it is great news that they are safely welcoming their gymnasts back to the sport that they love.
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“It’s time to get back to gymnastics, renew friendships and get active.
“Gymnastics is a community sport and our clubs are at the heart of it.”
Bev Smith, Chair of Welsh Gymnastics said: “We have a thriving gymnastics community in Wales and I’ve been really pleased to see our clubs working so hard to reopen for their members.
“The last four months have been hugely challenging and for many gymnasts and their families, weekly gymnastics sessions have been a small moment of relief and some normality.
“I’m so proud to see everyone’s hard work and dedication paying off.”
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