coach in desperation

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Apr 2, 2012
I am new member here and i need your help.
Sorry if my english are not so well .
I am 32yo i am a coach from Greece and i work as a MAG coach for 10 years in a gymnastic club in my town.
We are 3 coaches in the club i am training the boys that participate at the national championships and the
the other 2 coaches the begginer kids. all these years we win medals in national competitions in the small categories ,but we have a serious problem of the gym . we never had an appropriate gym to work well.
The last 3 years we host in the gym of the city Univercity . they gave us a small space 20mx3,5m next to the line of the basket court, of course we dont have foam pits but we try to do our job us better we can. Today they inform us that the Univercity can not anymore to host us and we must move out until August.
As you understand i am disappointed because i love my job and my kids and i dont know what to do.
In our small city there no many big buildings for rent and the few that exists are very expensive and we dont know if the club can afford this rent.
The state and the goverment they dont help the clubs so we are alone.
can you tell me your clubs how you can manage ?
about how much money the kids pay every month?
in which condition is your gym?
HELP please.
i would look for space at a community center or whatever is your equivalent of a high school gymnasium. maybe even a church. most gyms use converted warehouse space though some are in commercial zones

quite often for 1 hr of instruction per week, one day per week, often costs about 50-60usd/month. kids on team training 9hrs/week often pay around 200/month. kids training 20hrs generally may pay around 400/month

bare in mind, this is in california not some cheaper state like kansas. cost of living is higher in california especially in rent per square foot.

some gyms are very new, some are old. it really varies. some are run as non profits which means they get tax breaks.

perhaps look for sponsors
Our team kids pay about $5 an hour, rec kids more. This is rural Canada. The gym began in a high school gym taking the equipment up and down each practice. Coaches are paid $15 to $25 an hour, depending on experience. All coaches are qualified. The gym gets no outside help and uses rec classes to subsidies the team groups.

I agree with Blair, look for community space and ask the local government for subsidies and grants to help.

Sadly gymnastics is not cheap.
Im just a mom but those the do the gymnastics pay for it here in the USA. The gyms here either own the location or rent a location and the fees for rec classes, team, and birthday parties are paying the bills.

The competitive team my DD is on practices about 15 - 20 hours a week and we pay $340 a month plus fundraisers the parents organize - right now we are selling candy bars for $1 each and each girl is expected to sell 2 boxes (104 bars) The meets that are hosted by the club are also fundraising opportunities with raffles, snack bars and "proshop" type items like t-shirts for that specific event, gymnastic pins, hair ties, etc. We have also organized pancake breakfasts and that usually brings in about $1600 per event. We also do "canning" at various store locations. Canning is basicly begging for money outside a popular location with can in hand and gymnasts dressed in their warm up outfits.

Getting the parents organized to do fundraising will be a big help. Like Bog said gymnastics is not cheap.

Are there any colleges/universities or high schools (school for kids 14 - 18) that do gymnastics that would let you use their space until you can get something more permenent?
We have searched for space in schools and does not give us anything
We have requested assistance from the municipality and can not help us.
We are non profit club so we dont pay taxes but the kids pay 35euro per month for 3 hours per week, we have about 100 kids in the gym so if we go for rent we cant afford all these costs.
if we raise the payment a lot ,we dont now how many kid we will have .

thank you all for your help!
Well as the students are paying such a small amount it will be hard to find a space to use. I know when our HC rented a space we paid a considerable amount for the space with storage. My only suggestion is to have a meeting with the parents and let them know that if the gym is to continue that rates will have to increase. Give them a financial statement, so they can see how the gym is not viable with so little income.

Most gyms here are run for profit.
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i don't think a rise in fees is realistic when looking at the Greece economy at the moment?!
I agree with Bog about having to raise your price that really doesn't even pay salaries never mind rent.
I would have a parent meeting and explain exactly where the group stands and get some feed back from the parents. You might be surprised as to what connections they have and what type of fundraising they might be able to get together. If you are non profit there must be some type of grants you could go for and it wouldn't surprise me if one of the parents couldn't help you write the proposal. But I would start with a meeting showing all the income and expenses to the parents and what you expect the new costs would be when renting a space.
wow. have to think about that before tonight. the Greece economy is in shambles. and even 1 of your national team members (whose name escapes me at the moment) but finally qualified to your olympic team at the challenge can't get a job and is being supported by his parents and brothers. and he's in his 30's. and is married with 4 (5?) children. how sad this is for all of you.
Sounds like a really tough situation...

Can you get your local newspaper involved? - put a plea out for suitable premises and really emphasise the fact that with the olympics this year, there is sure to be an increase in gymnastics participation - Tell the newspaper about your club's achievements and anything which will make you appealing to landlords!

We moved into our own premises in October 2010 after a very long search.
In our area we were very very restricted on where we could move to - industrial estates were out at that point. However, after we got our local newspaper involved and wrote to the council to plead our cause we finally got somewhere.

We were in a similar situation, money wise.
We are a non profit making club (meaning that any profit we do make goes straight back into the club)
We charge our gymnasts between £15.00 per month (1 hour class per week) and £86 per month for the competitive gymnasts training 12 hours per week. The gymnasts who train somewhere in between those hours pay a price between those 2. The more hours you train, the less you pay per hour, but nobody pays more than £3.75 per hour.

At the time of our search we were in a slightly better situation than you are as we had over 400 members in our club. Since moving we have increased our membership to over 500.

When we first met with our potential landlord, we asked if a 'stepped' rent would be acceptable - basically for the first 2 years we would pay a reduced rate, then gradually increase it over the years - The company were really very accommodating and allowed it - they were basically pretty desperate to get their unit filled, and here we were willing to pay them long term, even if it meant them having to take less than they would have liked at first. We have a 7 year contract with them at the moment and our rent goes up every 2 years. We have no plans to move any time soon though and they know that!

This time last year we were also in a similar situation with our satellite club (a branch of our main club held in a different town) We held 4 classes at a local high school - we used their mats, vault and benches, but had our own bars and beam which they allowed us to store there. Last year we received a letter informing us that they were no longer happy to store our equipment for us and we had 2 weeks (yes, just 2 weeks) to find a new location.
We had a frantic search, but no other school was suitable and as a last resort we approached the local leisure centre. Luckily for us, they were more than happy for us to relocate there. We are paying very slightly more for much less space, but it meant that we were able to continue our classes - this group is more similar to yours as we have 100 gymnasts there all paying £3.75 per hour.

I really hope you find somewhere! I totally understand how you feel!
yea dunno you mean Tsolakidis Vasillis luckily for him his family has a bussiness so can survive for now.
Marras Vlassis goes to the Olympics also. Tell me how the members of your national teams survive? Do they get salary from their
national teams and if how much?

we have coach meeting tonight in the gym
National team members in the USA get a "stipend" each month. Their travel is paid as well. This is the case in the UK and Canada as well. I know of one female International Elite in the USA who gets $2000USD each month from the USAG.

Let us know how your coaches meeting goes. I really feel for your situation.
hi again
we had coaches meeting tonight and was present the president of the club also .
we decided
after two weeks (because we have easter holidays) we will invite the parents and explain them the situation as it is.
many of them they dont now that this gym is inappropriate and they dont know that so many years the municipal authority they do nothing to help us.
we try 2months to arrange an appointment with the mayor and until now is no possible because he avoids us.
3 days after the parents meeting if we dont get an appointment we will publicize the our problem again in local newspapers and radios.
we will ask from the municipal authority to give us a solution now.
there is a space enough big that belongs to the municipality and is appropriate for a gym but use it the carnival groups one month every year and they can not give us because the politicians counts the votes and the members of the carnival groups are about 5,000 . but for the start we will demand this space .

thank you for supporting
Well that sounds like a solid plan, glad you were able to come up with such solid ideas. Time for the municipality to give back to it's future voters.
give $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ (called graft or payoffs here in the states) to the ones who are in control of the "municipalities". my Greek friends say that this works pretty well.

one friend tells me that he can not get a "license" to serve coffee in his store. he has been waiting several months. he says you must have a license for the coffee maker and then one for the sale of coffee. he pays the local alderman $$$$ every month and they leave him alone to sell coffee from his store.:)
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Yea dunno but we try not to use such immoral methods.
yesterday we had the parents meeting , we informed them how difficult is the situation.
they got very upset with the municipality authority, we presented how is the suitable gyms.
now we will try to make an appointment with the mayor and we'll go all together.
that's all for now.
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Great job, one step at a time.

Getting the parents educated means that they will help and support you however they can.
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