Gym Flood Causes Stranded Gymnastics Team in Search of a Place to Practice.


Outside of the flooded Gifford at Wayne Hills High School. Taken by Riya Kachroo.

By Riya Kachroo and Mia Rivera

Over the summer, the Gifford Gym at Wayne Hills High School flooded, leaving the gymnastics team in search of a place to practice. 

The rupture of a pipe resulted in the gym flooding. This impacted many things, like where people can eat lunch and where gym classes are taking place, but solutions were quickly put into place for both those conflicts. Unfortunately, the girls gymnastics did not see such luck. The flooding of the gym left them with no place to practice and while there is a temporary solution, practicing at Wayne Valley High School, most of the team feels that is a completely unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory for them to use. With no exact reopening date in mind by the administrator, the girls are starting to be significantly affected. 

When asked about the gym, senior gymnastics captain Jacqueline Bernardo said, “there are definitely some flaws about not being in our gym. Some problems are transportation to and from Wayne Valley and the equipment that Wayne Valley has. Since we are sharing a gym with the Wayne Valley gymnastics team we have been practicing after them making our practices 4:30-6:00 pm which most parents are not around to take their child to practice. Unlike Wayne Hills, Wayne Valley does not have a spring floor so we can not perform our floor routines to our full potential with our highest difficulty.” 

Wayne Hills practices after the Wayne Valley gymnastics team is done. With this later start time, students who are unable to drive, do not have a way to get to Wayne Hills to board the team bus. Many parents are working at this time and cannot drive their child, so these students are left stranded. With some of the team unable to find transportation to the neighboring high school and the lack of adequate equipment, the team is significantly being impacted. Senior captains feel the team is left unable to properly perform their routines and while Jackie feels “grateful that Wayne Valley has offered to share their gym, the solution of practicing at Wayne Valley is not effective.” 

Senior Sam Weite said, “It is affecting the team as a whole because it’s throwing off the team dynamic. No one really wants to practice at Wayne Valley so the motivation isn’t always there.” 

The team is not feeling the same confidence as they usually do when they practice here at Wayne Hills. The team feels different, but the lack of motivation is not stopping them. You could never tell that they practiced on different equipment. Sam feels that the solution right now is as effective as it can be, and they were able to adjust. Practicing at our town rivals doesn’t seem to be stopping them from competing and having a good season.

Although the girls feel as though they’re missing out, Wayne Hills gymnastics coach, Coach Cathy Peter, feels that “these obstacles have shown how talented the Wayne Hills gymnasts are and the team has persevered.”  This positive mindset has helped them win two of their meets already!

For these girls, every factor contributes to them performing their best. The girls were able to find a solution, even though it did not have the outcome they were hoping for, they kept a positive attitude. Wayne Hills gymnasts were able to persevere during this tough time, still compete, and win!