ATHLETES at Regent Gymnastics Club are in training for what will be their first UK competition in two years – while uncertainty remains over how long they have left at their Fort Regent home.
Covid restrictions have prevented the club from competing since spring 2020 but, from 4-6 March, 16 gymnasts of varying ages will take part in the Quattro ‘After All This Time’ 2022 competition, at the Wiltshere School of Gymnastics in Melksham.
Head coach Julia Falle made the decision to enter her gymnasts into the competition as an alternative to a county event they would normally be competing in, as doubts remain over when the next one will be held, and if they would even be able to participate.
‘We should be competing in county competitions and doing our grading this year but we’ve had an email saying that the county doesn’t know what they are doing and that it would be easier if they didn’t have clubs from Jersey competing,’ said Falle.
‘What I’ve done is looked at other competitions for us to go to. We need to get moving forward now and compete with other children around the country. I would like to get them away for at least three competitions this year.
‘We’re fully prepared for this. We’ve had some disruption with training over the last couple of years with closures but now we’re trying to get in as much as possible to make the most of it. And we’ll be competing with gymnasts from around the country, not just the county, so it’s quite exciting.’
The club has had to shift training from the Queen’s Hall to the Gloucester Hall at the Fort as the former was adapted into the Island’s vaccination centre. Eventually, Regent GC will move to the sports hall at Oakfield – repurposed solely for gymnastics – when the Fort closes its doors for rebuilding. However, Falle is still not sure when that might me.
‘We’re not going to be left in limbo but I can’t see us moving anytime soon, probably the second or third quarter of 2023,’ she added.
‘We’ve not been told what the plan is. We still don’t know how long the vaccine centre is going to remain in the Queen’s Hall, so we’re just carrying on as we are. It makes it difficult because we can’t plan events. But when it does happen we will have our own purpose-built gymnastics arena, which will be brilliant.’