UCD Gymnastics coaches, Aoibhs Magills and Douglas Clinch have claimed that the “all functional gymnastics equipment was sold without consultation or input from the gymnastics coaches” by the current UCD Trampoline Club (UCDTC) committee.
The gymnastics team is not a recognised club and instead has held classes under UCDTC, availing of the trampoline club’s equipment when holding classes. When the Trampoline Club was contacted by the University Observer, they responded “our main priority as a club is to help our members develop their skills in the discipline of trampoline, as we work towards numerous student trampoline competitions throughout the year. There are no student gymnastics competitions.”
UCDTC said that the equipment for the gymnastic classes are owned the Trampoline club, “if they [gymnastic coaches] are deemed suitable by the current committee to hold gymnastics training sessions, (i.e. are a qualified gymnastics coach), then they are allowed to do so using our equipment. They do not own the equipment, our Head Coach looks after the equipment.” However, according to Magills, in practise, the equipment “is maintained by the gymnastics coaches.” UCDTC also claim that “there was no observed effort for the development of gymnastics within the trampoline club and absolutely no communication or any effort made from this year’s gymnastics coaches.”
At the beginning of summer, a group chat between Magills, Clinch and Trampoline Captain and Head Coach, Nicole Tianihad and Killian Davis, included messages about attempting to “have a little chat about gymnastics for the coming academic year and what it will involve,” with the initial message being sent on 12th June. Magills and Clinch informed the committee that they were not in the country but were “still available online.” Both Magills and Clinch informed the committee members that they would both be available to coach gymnastics for the academic year.
The groupchat, which has been seen by the University Observer, shows that Tianihad told both Magills and Clinch that “we have the same training times for gymnastics for last semester…we’d need to actually sit down together and has things out with regards to gymnastics next year. We can do it when you’re all available in Dublin at the end of the summer.” The next correspondence within the group chat is on 12th September.
The meeting between the four did not occur until Thursday 27th September. Clinch said that it was at this meeting, that Davis and Tianihad “informed us that they had sold the gymnastics equipment and that gymnastics would not be continuing.” When Clinch and Magills inquired as to why the gymnastics equipment was sold and the classes would not continue, Clinch said that “the trampoline coaches cited the fact that as coaches we had missed 2 training sessions the entire time we were coaching there, as well as the length of time it took to organise this meeting,” as reasons for this decision. The two gymnastic coaches found this “bizarre” as, in Clinch’s words “when we asked what they would have done if we had met sooner, to which they responded ‘we probably would have sold the equipment anyway’. So it seems that their reasoning for cutting us off wasn’t particularly honest.”
The club’s equipment is stored in an common space between sports halls. UCDTC acknowledged that “space for equipment storage has always been a bit of an issue. As our members train to attend student trampoline competitions, preference of space allocation for equipment will be given to that equipment which is used to improve and develop our members in the discipline of trampoline. The decision to sell the equipment came when we were granted new equipment for trampoline, therefore space needed to be made.” The lack of interest for gymnastics and the club’s priority for development of trampoline within UCD, were also cited as reasons for selling the equipment.
Magills says that during Freshers’ Week, she had gotten a significant proportion of members to sign up to the Trampoline Club, who were interested in attending the gymnastics classes. UCDTC deny this claim, stating “Any member who would have supposedly signed up specifically for gymnastics, would have had to go through the trampoline club to join during the Sports Expo, and they would have been told that there was no gymnastics. Therefore, it is very unlikely someone would have joined for gymnastics, when they were told there was none going ahead this year.”
Tianihad and Davis also noted that “there were only two members who joined solely for gymnastics, one of which has asked for a refund of their membership fee, which they were given.”