COVID-19 – Advice for Gymnastics Coaches and Teachers

Due to the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the government announced that from Friday 20th March all gymnastics classes in the UK are to close until further notice. We are extremely saddened by this news as we know how much of a financial and emotional strain this will put on coaches of gymnastics across the UK, many of whom are self-employed. 

On 26th March the Chancellor announced that some financial support will be available to self employed gymnastics coaches. However to be eligible for this support you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Have profits of less than £50,000 a year
  • Have registered your 2018/19 tax return

If you meet the above criteria you should be eligible for a grant which covers 80% of your monthly average profits. These taxable payments are capped at £2,500 a month and come from HMRC starting from June onwards (although they can be backdated to the beginning of March). 

Unfortunately if you do not meet the eligibility – for instance, you run a newly opened gymnastics coaching business – this financial support will not be available to you. 

We hope that more advice, support and information will be provided to gymnastics coaches and teachers who are not eligible for this funding. We’ll be sure to provide regular updates surrounding the latest developments as we hear them. 

Online gymnastics coaching 

If you think you’ll be able to continue running some gymnastics classes virtually, there are a huge range of resources you can use. Here are some free platforms you can use for your lessons: 

  • Youtube – Why not set up a Youtube channel and create videos for your students to watch and join in with?
  • Alternatively if you have your pupils or their parents on Facebook, you could do a series of Facebook Live events. These are great, as they will allow your students to ask questions during the session and contribute at any point.
  • Another option is to conduct a Skype or Zoom session. These platforms allow you to video call many participants at once. It might be a little hectic at first, but it could mean that you’re able to continue to teach your students from home.

If you’re thinking about offering virtual classes, check with your insurance company first to make sure you’re covered to offer online classes.

Keep them in the loop

No matter what you decide to do about your gymnastic coaching sessions during the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s important that you make sure to communicate with your gymnasts. Whether it’s giving them instructions on how to set up virtual lessons, or letting them know that unfortunately your classes won’t be going ahead for a while. 

It’s easy to let all of the chaos in the world right now overwhelm you and bring you down, particularly if you’re struggling with your finances. But your gymnasts and their parents will understand, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone. 

Have a check with your governing body, whether that is British Gymnastics or UK Gymnastics,  to see what advice and information they’re offering, and if possible network with other gymnastics coaches who’ll likely be in the same boat as you. 

Please be aware that all of the above information was correct at the time of writing (27th March 2020). However advice is continuously changing as COVID-19 developments progress, so keep an eye out for further updates.

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