Sports

Bolton Gymnastics open for business, pushing on in face of pandemic

August 13, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Editor’s note: A previous headline suggesting Bolton Gymnastics is currently closed due to COVID-19 was incorrect. The facility reopened on June 1 for competitive activities, and July 13 for summer day camp. The Citizen apologizes for, and regrets this error.

by ROBERT BELARDI

Dave Sandford planned to take his wife to Switzerland for their 35th wedding anniversary in October. His wife, has never been to a part of the world, shrouded with Swiss alps and clear blue water ever before. 

It would have been the cute, celebratory anecdote all couples search for in their thinking caps. But of course, the current COVID-19 pandemic ravaged through those plans, coercing the couple to tear apart the idea. 

Aside from facing his travel restrictions, the CEO of Gymnastics Ontario has a lot on his plate. 

“Five clubs out of our 200 club-membership have shut the doors already,” Sandford said. 

The former paramedic for the Canadian Armed Forces is shapeshifting gymnastics to adhere to all of the latest distancing and cleanliness protocols. 

Sandford’s document written in July, is enriched in detail, on how to combat potential COVID-19 threats and ensure the safety of all the athletes within the facility. 

Some of his athletes, have been permitted to continue competitive training since the province of Ontario entered stage one. 

With stage three in effect, Sandford says stage three is indefinitely, more harmful than the previous two stages to his business. 

Most of his clubs are over the maximum of 50 participants in each of the sports. To achieve effective social distancing measures, a facility must be 7,200 square-feet to achieve that. 

“Now with this new order we’re restricted. We’re submitting an exemption request.” 

Sandford says there are more clubs significantly impacted by these provincial measures. Although some aspects of the business such as day camps have been operational since July 6 there’s no definitive way for other sports clubs to run full sessions. 

There is also no alternative. Gymnastics equipment cannot be hauled outdoors. That would require, the removal of spring-loaded plywood boards and padding to be removed from the facility. 

In the meantime, while Bolton Gymnastics continues to wait for updates, Sandford has received pleasant emails from parents. 

“Most of the emails I’m getting from parents when their kids have come back, is how happy their children are after they’ve participated just because now, they’re socially interacting and engaging with other children.”

The 30-year Bolton resident will continue enforcing every safety measure possible to make the environment safe and welcoming for parents, players and coaches. 

Patrons can head to boltongymnastics.ca under the registered tab, there is a return to play summary for families to read over all the numerous protocols that Sandford has set in stone. 



         

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