Dear Friends and Families of Girls Inc. Gymnastics,
Looking forward to the 2023 competition season, sadly and with heavy heart Girls Inc. must inform you that we will no longer offer support for the competition season as of January 1.
Our priority has been to take care of all members of our community – you and your family and the other Girls Inc. families – and staff. Suspending the 2023 competition program was not an easy decision, but it is the responsible one.
Why now? Aren’t you still trying to fill the staff vacancy?
In making this decision to announce the reduction in services, we considered what choices you may need to be making now to prepare for a future competition season. This is the time where gymnastics families are potentially investing in extra competition-related expenses to secure music and choreography for the winter season, etc.
We want each gymnast to have the quality of training that meets their skill level. We want success for your daughter(s). I know that your family needs to make your choices now to enable your athlete to advance on a path to skill up with progressions that are appropriate.
Why can’t the coaches you have on staff do this?
We currently have a staffing shortage of coaches and other career staff positions. As Girls Inc. CEO, I look at what we are asking of our staff currently and question the viability of sustaining this pace without one or more new hires to our coaching staff. Many wear multiple hats and have duties beyond the daily coaching in the gym.
Some of our employees are not long-term residents in Santa Barbara and have other professional and school commitments outside the gym, so we must schedule around these needs. The result is a patchwork of coaching to fill in schedules, which is not sustainable for the level of commitment needed for a Team coaching program. In the end, we need a Team Head Coach to have a successful program.
We understand we could train someone from our current career staff to know the curriculum for Team, along with judging and for them to apply for the various USA Gymnastics certifications. That would be a medium- to long-term solution and not provide the caliber of training needed now to get us to the 2023 season.
How is Girls Inc. handling day-to-day gym operations now without a Head Team Coach?
To shore up the program in absence of this important role, Girls Inc. has identified ways to bring in help from respected coaches outside of our network to infuse news skills within our current coach professionals. We are planning Special clinics. Our Gym Director Amy Richardson has also made changes within the day-to-day coaching environment to maintain our safety protocols and continue to bring new skills for gymnasts.
The current situation is one where Girls Inc. can keep your gymnast safe. However, we acknowledge that leaves you and us still wishing for a dedicated coach.
Will Girls Inc. Gymnastics continue to run the Compulsory Competition Season in Fall 2022?
Yes. However, should you wish to pause your gym membership with Girls Inc. while we navigate these difficult operational times as we move from the Ortega gym to Goleta gym facilities, we know that may be what you determine is the best choice for your individual family.
If you are pausing the 2023 Competition Season at Girls Inc. Gymnastics, what kind of support will you provide for athletes who wish to compete?
Our plan is to continue to provide local training space even if athletes must travel beyond our local community to a gym that has a coach for Team.
Any gymnast who wants to continue to take classes and train with your Team colleagues can do so at Girls Inc. Gymnastics but understand that Girls Inc will not participate in any meets or competition in 2023.
What do we do if we have further questions about Girls Inc. current programming, etc?
Please continue to email us for all current class questions or find us in the gym. You can reach out to our Gym Director Amy Richardson or our Gym Membership Coordinator Adrianna Munoz. Should you have questions about governance or strategy of Girls Inc., please reach out to me directly.
What should we expect when Girls Inc. moves?
As you may recall in November 2021, our Board of Directors at Girls Inc. took the strategic action to sell one of our two campuses – the one where our Ortega gym is housed.
Original plans had us remaining on site for two years or more through June 2024; for a variety of reasons, that timeline has shrunk. Exact timing of our move remains in flux.
When that time comes to move, we will be making short-term adjustments to program schedules – or pausing some classes offered. Moving from two sites to one gym location means we must reconfigure our gym operations somewhat. In later summer 2022 – no later than mid-August – Girls Inc will announce any program decisions that impact plans for the fall classes.
Preschool, recreational, and competitive gymnastics team programs have resulted in an extremely close connection between Girls Inc. and the community. We wish to honor those community ties and we appreciate your support.
In community and deep gratitude,
CEO at Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara