REGISTRATION SITE OFFLINE 2/14-2/15: For details, check our Bulletin Board post, below

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REGISTRATION SITE OFFLINE 2/14-2/15: For details, check our Bulletin Board post, below

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Gymnastics Pit Receives Overhaul & Upgrade!

August 17, 2023 – In August, we turned a little extra attention to Wilmette Gymnastics and their pit in particular! A pit is essentially an in-ground “pool” filled with tens of thousands of high-grade, open cell, fire retardant polyurethane cubes that provide a soft and safe landing for gymnasts learning the beginning stages of landings, drills and skill development. Our facility is fortunate to have a large 20-foot by 46-foot pit for our classes and lessons to utilize.

Routine maintenance aside, it’s been over ten years since the gymnastics pit was entirely emptied of all foam cubes and given a thorough refresh. Gymnastics Supervisor Sarah Sekki decided it was an opportune time to upgrade the pit even more with an exciting improvement.

“We contracted Midwest Gym Supply (MGS) from Madison, IN to install a custom trampoline across the bottom of our pit – making a softer landing for our gymnasts as they enter the pit, and causing less wear and tear on the cubes that fill the space,” Sarah explains. The 7-foot-deep void was originally filled to the brim with the foam cubes to cushion incoming students, and over time the cubes would be tightly compressed to the very bottom where they’d degrade and disintegrate faster with repeated impact. The addition of the new custom trampoline not only requires 50% fewer cubes, but effectively fluffs and prevents them from becoming too compacted each time a gymnast bounces the trampoline platform. Sarah comments, “it’s really a win-win – our gymnasts benefit from a more gentle and secure landing, our equipment will last longer, and the Park District is saving money on the expensive foam cubes!”

Starting the week of August 7, Wilmette Gymnastics staff teamed up with facility staff and an additional cleaning crew to begin emptying the pit of all cubes – new and old. A messier job than you’d think! As they worked, they sorted the cubes between good condition that could go back into the pit, and old ones that were crumbling and ready to be retired. Following the dusty sorting and massive temporary cube storage effort, the pit was thoroughly cleaned of all debris, and it was time for MGS to install the custom trampoline! With a few modifications to ensure maximum strength and durability, MGS spent half the day of August 14 anchoring in the frame and connecting a few hundred springs to the bouncy platform. From there, our staff wrapped up the final push to, once again, fill the pit with soft foam cubes – about 20,000 in total.

“We’re so excited to have a clean and upgraded pit for the gymnasium,” said Sarah, “our gymnasts love this facility, and we work hard to give them the best experience we can provide – and now that will include an upgraded pit to practice skills for bars, vault and tumbling safely and comfortably.”

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