Founded in 1875, the Ginásio Clube Português (GCP) brings together several sports and has a long Olympic tradition. It is one of the king clubs in the history of rhythmic gymnastics in Portugal. Despite this, he decided to close the section, dismissing the technical team and leaving 38 gymnasts without a club.
Sandra Nunes is 43 years old and has been a rhythmic gymnastics coach for 24 years. On July 28, she received her letter of resignation, after being “caught off guard” with the closure of the modality she loves, at the club she has represented for six years – Ginásio Clube Português (GCP).
The same “bucket of cold water” arrived in the hands of Cristina Amorim, mother of gymnast Clara Melo, who is part of the senior group of the national rhythmic gymnastics team.
Among the reasons that led to the dissolution of the modality, explained in a meeting convened with the parents, is the indication that the competitive disciplines have a model that is not “sustainable” for the club, therefore “for financial reasons” the GCP opted to turn off the rhythm – since it is the one that consumes the most resources, in terms of space and training times, revealed Leonor Baptista, mother of one of the
38 injured athletes.
The coach added that the pandemic situation experienced last year had affected several clubs, but reinforced that in the case of the Gym they maintained training
on line and continued face-to-face training for the national team.
They “live for it”, stresses Cristina Amorim after explaining to PÚBLICO that her daughter stopped going to school in April this year to devote herself entirely to the group project, which aims to keep the last quota for Olympic qualification . The modality is developing internationally, “a lot of fruit from this group: coaches and athletes”, reinforced the same mother.
“The Team That Pulled the Rope”
The club renewed the technical team in 2017, which presented “very ambitious” objectives, in the words of Cristina Amorim. The training load has increased and currently four of the six gymnasts who make up the senior group in Portugal are from the GCP.
Cristina Amorim says that “people with great value and enormous dedication” have done “a very serious job”, to meet the demand that characterizes the modality.
The extinction of the “team that pulled the rope” and of a work structure that trained “benchmark” gymnasts could mean a setback in the development of this sport in Portugal, reinforces the mother of Maria Leonor Baptista , which was part of the GCP for 10 years your second home.
Sandra Nunes has confirmed that gymnasts want to continue training and ‘cancel a club that has been so present for so many years’ and with such a level of ‘competitiveness’ it makes parents of gymnasts ‘very supportive’ of the situation.
“This year, all the athletes have renewed the High Performance, which demonstrates that the path that has been followed has had results”, concludes Leonor Baptista. “It was important not to lose what has been achieved so far.”
For the athletes representing the national team, everything indicates that alternatives will emerge, given that they are “a little more protected”, explains Cristina Amorim, thanks to the support of the federation. The others, if they have no place to train, see their careers interrupted, a few weeks before the start of next season.
PÚBLICO has contacted Ginásio Clube Português, which says it is “firmly committed to ensuring the competitive path of rhythmic gymnastics athletes in the next sports season”, but neither the management nor the president Manuel Cavaleiro Ferreira has agreed to provide clarification on what is happening. .