The end of a gymnastics era


Photo by Ava Lins

Pottsville Gymnastics is located on 206 N. Centre Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. PGTC announced that they will officially be closing on May 28, 2021. “Every Friday when i could stay for open gym and learn new skills after practice! I also could have friends with me that didn’t attend the gym,” said Taylor Fitzpatrick.

After 35 years of flips and gymnastics fun, Pottsville Gymnastics Training Center, will be closing due to the effect COVID-19 had on their business. With frequent shutdowns because of the pandemic and having to cancel practices due to the winter weather, it was a very tough period for not only PGTC but other sports facilities in Pottsville. 

Established in 1986, the small gym above the thrift store on North Center Street has been coaching gymnasts of all ages to compete or just for recreation. PGTC has offered many training camps over the years such as a back handspring clinic, a cheerleading camp to improve jumps and tumbling, and a summer camp where gymnasts would spend the day improving their skills. Pottsville Gymnastics is also home to the “Friendship Classic,” a meet that is held every year for competitive gymnasts with the slogan “Building friendships through the sport of gymnastics.” Many well known gymnasts such as Olympic medalists- Aly Raisman and Aliya Mustafina competed at this meet which was held in Martz Hall at the time. 

Almost every gymnast who has been a member of PGTC can agree that everyone there was so supportive and that it felt like home. 

“I enjoyed the people and the experience. Everyone there was extremely nice from the coaches to the kids and the experience was very nice and entertaining. It made you want to try new things,” said frequent open gym attendee, Elizabeth Chattin.

Competitive team member and instructor Devin Hubler said, “During my time at PGTC I made tons of memories with girls who I will always consider a dear friend. This was my second home for 10 years of my life and I will always cherish those years. It was a place that allowed me to be myself and compete in the sport I love. After giving up competing, I was given the chance to come back as an instructor. Seeing little kids fall in love with the sport and succeed like I did years before them put a smile on my face and still does everyday. I would like to thank my coach Barbra Lonergan for the endless amount of opportunities and helping all her gymnasts succeed including myself.” 

The atmosphere of always having someone there to lift you up helped many of the gymnasts succeed in the competitive world. 

Everyone was so supportive of each other and I met some of my best friends. The coaches were always really nice and supportive as well. I’m definitely going to miss seeing all of my friends there and since I’ve been coaching as well, I’m going to miss seeing the younger girls’ faces when they make a new skill,” said competitive team member, Ava Lins.

Lins also included her favorite memory from the gym. She said, “My favorite memory would have to be our Christmas tradition. We would have a day of fun, play games, make little skits, and overall just enjoy the holiday with our friends.”

“I personally loved the atmosphere and the nice coaches! I learned so much and I would do anything to go back,” said competitive team member, Taylor Fitzpatrick.

Pottsville Gymnastics is finishing out the rest of the season and will be officially closing on May 28, 2021.