A decision to delist gymnastics by the B.C. School Sports (BCSS) regulatory body was “unfortunate,” and should be reconsidered, but is unlikely to have much impact on Langley gymnasts.
That was the assessment of Kris Krunick, head coach of men’s artistic gymnastics at the non-profit Langley Gymnastics Foundation (LGF) , one of the largest gymnastics clubs in the province.
“Usually, every year we have two [or] three athletes that compete in the high school championships,” Krunick explained.
“Our competitive programs have 130 girls, 70 boys, and [also] over 1,000 recreational athletes. So honestly it [the delisting] shouldn’t be very impactful on the overall organization. But it’s always sad to hear a program gets shut down, as it’s just less exposure for the sport to high school-aged kids.”
On May 13, BCSS voted to remove gymnastics from its list of recognized activities at their annual general meeting.
In the written statement announcing the decision, BCSS cited a “sustained low number of registered gymnastics participants across the province, with only 453 student-athletes registered this season.”
Most gymnasts, it went on to say, “are competing entirely in a club environment and as a result, the gymnastics programs are not regularly part of the school environment or under the oversight of the school athletic director and administration.”
Students who compete in school gymnastics programs can no longer compete at provincial championships in their sport as a result of the BCSS ruling, and will no longer be eligible for an athletic scholarship in gymnastics.
Krunick indicated international Gymnastics competitions, not school programs, are what encourage kids to take up the sport.
“Usually, after an Olympic Games, we see a spike in recreational registrations,” Krunick commented.
Langley School District does not have a school gymnastics program.
Gymnastics B.C., the governing body for the sport in the province, released a statement saying it was “disappointed” with the decision.
“We will continue to work with and support our 69 clubs from across BC and hope that we can all work to deliver gymnastics programs at a club level for anyone effected by this decision,” the statement said.
Langley Advance Times has reached out to Langley-based Flip City Gymnastics for comment.
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