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Gymnastics practices socially distanced due to pandemic

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - With youth sports ramping back up, gymnastics facilities were also given the green light to resume practices.

From recreation to Junior Olympic level, gymnasts at Black Hawk Gymnastics were able to start practicing again, with safety precautions in place. Black Hawk Gymnastics head coach, Jessica Hare, said a thorough plan was necessary to get back in the gym.

"To come back in, we disinfected the entire gym and cleaned. It took us about a week to get every mat and surface cleaned," Hare said, "recreation didn't start until three weeks after re-opening, and competitive kids started before then to keep them separate."

Other precautions that are being taken are:

  • back door entry for all gymnasts
  • upon entry, hands and feet are sanitized
  • all temperatures are taken and recorded
  • locker areas are off limits
  • gymnasts must bring their own chalk

Hare said the sharing of equipment has been unavoidable. But in response, the coaches disinfect mats, events, and other surfaces almost constantly.

"All of the equipment gets cleaned after each group uses it. So we're doing our best to keep everything as clean as possible and the kids are also clean, so it's pretty safe."

The gym has also converted its birthday room into storage for cleaning supplies, and coaches wear face masks at all times. There are sanitizing stations set up all around the gym, and coaches are not hand spotting gymnasts during practices.

At this time, USA Gymnastics has not released any updates regarding next year's season.

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Alaina Kwan

Morning Reporter

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