Gymnasts adjust to practice relocation
January 8, 2018
After having practiced at Homestead for over a decade, the Homestead girls gymnastics team was relocated to North Shore Gymnastics on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. Meets will continue to be held at Homestead.
According to Athletic Director Erich Hinterstocker, the “process was started over a year ago and we had a meeting in October of 2016 with some of the gymnastics families.”
The gymnastics team, however, felt the move to be more abrupt. “Truthfully, we didn’t really think about the move until it became so sudden. So sudden that we couldn’t really do much to save it from happening. As a co-captain I have tried with my co-captain to change the ultimate fate of moving, but our efforts have ultimately failed. That doesn’t mean we will stop fighting,” Olivia Rossman, junior and co-captain, said.
In Hinterstocker ‘s words, “We told them that the direction that we were looking to go is to try to find an off site, dedicated gymnastics facility for our gymnastics team to train.”
The main reason for the move is to give the gymnastics team members more access to high-caliber equipment that will help them to grow in a safe environment. Hinterstocker added that, “A high school doesn’t have access to pits and things of that nature that become really important when you are learning a trick off the high bar for the first time.”
The North Shore facility adds four more beams (three high beams and one low beam), two extra sets of bars, one vault runway, and pits the team would not have access to at Homestead. However, the team must also share the site with the club team members as well as the Cedarburg/Grafton gymnastics teams. Rossman addressed these problems saying, “Not only did we have to share equipment with a team in our conference, we share it with classes.”
Rossman furthermore described the environment saying, “For example: if we were at beam and there was a private [lesson] taking over one beam; we had four beams to share with 10 people. This causes a bunch of unproductivity during practice. With that [and the shortened time] it will be a big adjustment, and I hope our scores will not suffer for upcoming meets. This isn’t even the half of it unfortunately; I’m just trying to tell it how it is.”
Instead of the gymnastics team using the auxiliary gym space (the far corner of the field house), it will be used for a few different programs, but nothing specific. “Previous to this year, the gymnastics team had a true home, the auxiliary gym, where we never had to worry about being kicked out or moved for certain events and other teams,” Rossman said.
It will ultimately be utilized by, “PE first, it’s an educational space first, and then it’s everything else that we have, its Mequon-Theinsiville School District recreation department programs, its rentals, its all kinds of stuff. It’s band and orchestra, its parent teacher conferences. The list goes on and on,” Hinterstocker said.
It is also an added bonus that this space is now open to generate revenue.
“The gym availability in the winter in a state like ours is premium. To be able to have more space is a good thing,” Hinterstocker commented.
Regarding transportation and cost, the team will be providing their own transportation to the space. The athletic department did have a team parent offer to drive the district van, but it is not being used. The cost is, “a per person precession charge so, yearly it’s based on the number of student athletes and the number of days they spend there,” Hinterstocker explained.
The team is adjusting to the new space. With several individual state hopefuls, “the team is hoping for the best and keeping a positive mindset for the rest of the season,” Natalie Ceelen, senior and co-captain, said.
Katey Van Vooren, junior, added, “The conclusion of our season will be different than anything we have experienced so far, but this will not stop us in finishing our season off well.”
Overall, “We are very grateful for the space North Shore has provided us. We just really want our home back,” Ceelen said.
*Some quotes have been edited for accuracy