ULINGA Gymnastics Club has been forced to close its doors after 35 years of operation.
Waning numbers, too few coaches and the increasing pressure on running costs were cited by the Traralgon-based club as the primary reasons for its closure.
Club president Shaun Scammell said Ulinga had lost about 100 gymnasts over the past four years, which had put a huge strain on the business aspect of the community club.
“We just lost a number of key people, then we lost a number of the kids which makes it hard,” Scammell said.
“None of us wanted to do it, we were all there as a community group for the kids sort of thing… the worst thing is all these kids have been hanging out to come back to gym… they’ve been around for four, five, six years, some of them have been there for 10 years, now all of a sudden they’ve got pretty much nowhere to go.
“They’ve been brought up in the one club and they’re just so used to it and they’ve normally been a fairly close club family-wise, so it’s very disappointing because I know there’s going to be a lot of sad kids around because of it.”
Scammell said retention of committee members, volunteers and helpers had also been an issue as gymnasts graduated from the program.
“A lot of the parents don’t sort of hang around like they used to going back 15 or 20 years, as private clubs it’s pretty hard to keep committees and things running together,” he said.
“It’s just a disappointing time.”
Scammell thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of the gym throughout its history, and apologised to the gymnasts for the outcome.