Gymnastics Club rebuilds team culture after a year without competition, normal training // The Observer

Notre Dame Gymnastics Club is back in action following complications during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the pandemic-riddled 2020-2021 school year has prevented the club from competing and training normally, the club is delighted to resume competitions and rebuild the team culture.

The University’s off-campus travel restriction last year prevented the club from training in its regular, junior and gymnasiums. said club secretary Abby Helenbrook. For a sport as technical as gymnastics, the inability to practice with their standard equipment presented a big problem.

“Gymnastics in particular is a sport that needs nurturing,” Helenbrook said. “And if you don’t practice regularly, it’s very easy to lose muscle memory and skills and things like that. So being away from a real gym for a year can really set you back in your gym ability.

The gymnastics team is set to return to national championships after a pandemic-caused hiatus in competition last year.

The lack of practice didn’t just hurt physical skills and abilities. Without the ability to fully train, an essential part of the team’s dynamic has suffered, said senior and club chairman Nichola Keane-Murphy.

“Honestly, in terms of what we lost, I feel like at the start of the year it was a bit difficult to get the team culture back,” Keane-Murphy said.

So far, it hasn’t been easy for the club to overcome the problems they faced last year.

“It’s been so long since we’ve had any meetups or real workouts or anything like that relearning all the processes was hard,” Keane-Murphy said.

While the team values ​​repairing all its setbacks, rebuilding and building team dynamics is first and foremost, Keane-Murphy said.

“We’re kind of basically rebuilding what we had in the team and building ourselves back up as a team and getting the competition experience again,” she said.

The team also has ambitious goals for the conclusion of its season. Although they have competed in smaller competitions throughout the year, they are hoping to put on an impressive performance at the Nationals in early April.

“We’re going to the Nationals [where] we will be playing against clubs from all over the country,” Keane-Murphy said. “I believe it’s the biggest gymnastics meet in the country because clubs from almost every school you can think of are all going there to compete.”

It’s a moment the team will cherish, not just for its potential sporting success, but also for the experiences team members will share, Keane-Murphy said.

“One of my biggest memories from college is our trip as a freshman from the Nationals and our trip to Florida that year, to go with a team and hang out with them,” she said.

Club leaders stress the openness of the team to new members. Anyone interested in joining the team would be welcome, regardless of gymnastics ability, they said.

“Their whole mission statement is just for the love of the sport. And we really want to make sure that’s emphasized. We’re not here to make it scary and intimidating and make it look like you have to be the best you’ve ever been in gymnastics,” Keane-Murphy said. “We just want to go out there and do it because we love it.”

This year opens up opportunities for team members that they haven’t been able to see since the pandemic began.

“It was my first season being able to compete because the first year we were sent home after spring break,” Helenbrook said.

With the domestic championships looming, club officials are ready to return to big competition and continue to rebuild the club.

“Overall I would say it was very exciting to be back,” Helenbrook said.

Tags: club, COVID-19, Gymnastics, Gymnastics Club, Nationals

Martin E. Berry