Zoom … let’s resume

“When in doubt Zoom out.”

Welcome to blog #2! I hope you enjoyed reading the first blog and gaining an insight into Virtue. This term it was time for us to resume Zoom!

Lockdown 3.0

Lockdown number 3 was announced and took place just as our new term started. For many of us coaches, gymnasts and parents too, wasn’t exactly what we wanted the new year to look like. However, we fully support the decision. We know this is the best thing to happen in order for the pandemic to be controlled and for everyone to remain as safe and healthy as possible. It was so important to us to keep offering a service to our members during this strange time. We wanted to support their mental and emotional needs as well as provide them with an opportunity to stay physical at home.

We jumped back up got our planning hats on and got ourselves back on Zoom! Prior to the new term, we made sure that we had adaptable plans as we knew going back to virtual classes was a high possibility. As Kara said in our previous blog, “we adapt fast and without fear.” So after many meetings, hours of planning and hundreds of videos watched, we resumed our amazing online Zoom sessions – and it couldn’t have gone better!

Believe in Movement

Believe in Movement is our ethos, this is particularly important during lockdown.

Our sessions are planned to make sure that the children are engaged, having fun and learning new skills. We’ve been working a lot on hand-eye coordination, a particular favourite of mine was throwing a pair of socks in the air and having to catch them in a plastic cup! The laughs and giggles from the gymnasts are so infectious and puts the biggest smiles on our faces. 

Our squad coaches are even doing ‘Sunday Fundays’ with their squads. So far we’ve had cookie baking, pizza making and lots and lots of quizzing! The gymnasts have absolutely loved these ‘sessions’ and doing these activities with their coaches. It has really helped to build such a fantastic rapport with them. 

All of our gymnasts in each class, no matter if it’s a recreational, pre-school or squad class are making so much progress in such a short amount of time and we are all so proud of them. As much as we cannot wait to be back in the gym, we are enjoying the Zoom sessions just as much!

Younger years

Our Virtue babies are doing fantastic with their Zoom sessions and we’ve had so many amazing comments from the parents.

“You guys are doing such a great job. Online teaching for practical stuff is tricky but you make it look so easy!” 

Pre school parent

Shelley – our incredible Head of Pre school responded with:

“I’m delighted with the response from parents and gymnasts about our Zoom at home programme! It is lovely to hear from our Virtue families that they are having fun and learning lots from our sessions! We’ve worked really hard to plan engaging and progressive classes that are of course, enormous fun for all involved! I’ve absolutely loved our scavenger hunts – particularly the dress as a snowman one. It is wonderful for me as a coach to be able to see the gymnasts progressing and developing skills as they work at home on exciting preps. I am so proud of each and every one of them for their hard work! It is certainly making my lockdown more fun to see their smiling faces each day!”

Older years

I, (Lucie), am the gym manager and I coach our Rec 2/3/4’s and the Tumble classes on Zoom. For me, coaching the recreational classes is such a fun part of my job. As soon as I log on, I ask the kids how their day has been and some of the stories I get back make me laugh so much, I forget what it’s like being that young! 

Seeing their faces light up after they’ve accomplished a certain skill, rushing to the screen to un mute themselves and then suddenly shout “LUCIE I DID IT CAN YOU WATCH?” is honestly the best thing ever. 

I also coach the Tumble squad, which as a former tumbler is so awesome. I feel privileged to be able to pass down my knowledge. Its amazing seeing our parents join in and having fun too. Watching them all not only grow in terms of gymnastics ability, but grow in confidence is so heart-warming and a perfect example of why I love the job!

“She loves gymnastics and no doubt about it, you and your team have given her a lot more confidence. I think you and everyone at Virtue have been amazing. Before lockdown she was very shy and you all helped her come out of her shell, then during lockdown you managed to create a programme of gymnastics which is amazing. I cannot commend you and the team enough. Needless to say you are all just brilliant.” 

Recreational parent

Aerobics team

Our Head of Aerobics, Celine, said “The aerobic Zoom classes have been going amazing. It’s been a big benefit for my gymnasts as we are able to focus on a lot more of the smaller things as competitions have now been cancelled. They are achieving so many new skills, not to mention becoming a lot fitter. I feel like we have become a much closer squad, we look out for each other and make sure we’re all doing ok during these tough times.”

“I just wanted to say what an amazing job you’re doing with not only the girls classes but also their Sunday Funday which is precious time that you’re giving up to keep all our girls happy. You are so patient and kind and make each of our girls feel special. You’re amazing, thank you!” 

Aerobic squad parent

Tilly and Hollie have been working with the Girls squad and our Pre team and during this lockdown they’ve made some excellent progressions. 

Pre team

Tilly our Head of Pre team expressed, “The continuous Zoom experience has been a big change. Whilst most look at negatives, I find it important to look at the positives. It’s allowed our sessions to be super inclusive and compact. You can take close looks at perfecting the smaller details and opening more quality time with the gymnasts. We laugh together, smile together, cry together, dance together, go crazy together, develop together, learn together and grow together. Confidence has risen and new skills have been learnt. I’m blessed to have spent such quality time with such lovely little people. A lot to get used to, but nothing we cannot overcome!” 

Girls Squad

Hollie our Head of Girls answered – “Wow, the girls squad what a whirlwind. We were back in the gym for a short time before going back into lockdown and onto Zoom. They have really impressed me with their resilience, determination and hard work – I am so proud of them all! We are growing stronger together as a squad with each Zoom session and I cannot wait for us to be back in the gym and prepare for competitions and to have all your hard work pay off and to progress even further with more upgrades!!!”

“I am very proud of her, I am so glad she is very dedicated to her gymnastics and with what is going on at the moment, it is very good for her to still be able to do it. She is a lot more confident now with the help from you and the other girls. Thank you for all your effort, it is lovely to hear you on the Zoom classes so happy and bubbly with the girls. You’re doing an amazing job.” 

Girls squad parent

We got this!

We’ve provided over 1000 online sessions now, and they are getting better each time. Although a very different one, it is a fun process overall. Our coaching team are working together finding ways of transforming the skills into preps so we’re able to do them safely at home. Our parents are joining in on the Zoom sessions helping the gymnasts and watching them engage. The gymnasts are advancing every single week as well as having a blast! 

Stick around for blog #3 to find out how our team are coping with the lockdown and certain ‘rituals’ they’ve introduced to stay positive during this strange time. 

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