Gymnastics clubs have urged Premier Daniel Andrews to let them reopen alongside school in term four to help get kids active and improve their mental health.
They were allowed to reopen in June between the first and second COVID-19 lockdowns but as restrictions eased across regional Victoria last week they found their doors would have to remain closed.
"If schools are deemed safe for kids to be there then really in my eyes there's no reason for places like gymnastics clubs to be not deemed safe as well," said Eureka Gymnastics Club head coach Caleb Tivendale.
"Our building has a massive footprint ... and the kids are separated. Gymnastics is an individual sport, not a team sport, so there's only one person up on the bars at any one time, or they are spread out along the beam, or separated on the floor."
Technically the club could reopen if classes were held outside, but Mr Tivendale said that could not be achieved with the heavy equipment that needed to be properly secured to be safe.
Mr Tivendale said under the current schedule it appeared that gymnastics clubs would not be allowed to reopen until the next step, which involved the whole of Victoria recording zero new cases of the virus for 14 days.
He said Eureka Gymnastics Club had been hard hit with staff and volunteers stood down or having hours reduced, and connections with participants eroded and transitioned to engagement online where possible.
"Coronavirus has devasted gymnastics, and as our community starts to reopen we need help reconnecting with our participants of our sport so that gymnastics can safely re-open and start to resume its place as one of the most popular health and physical activities in the state."
Mr Tivendale along with Gymnastics Victoria have started a petition to demand the government consider reopening gymnastics clubs, and appealing for a $2.4 million grant to be shared among 128 clubs across the state to support the resumption of the sport.
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"Re-engaging people is particularly important because we are not allowed to open indoors, kids are going to do other sports," he said.
"And from the physical activity aspects, kids have been sitting indoors for a large part of this year and we just want to get them moving again. There is another health crisis waiting ot happen if kids don't stay active and end up getting sick."
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