Local cheer gyms adjust to reopening

Places for children’s recreation such as cheer gyms are taking extra precautions as they welcome kids back following COVID-19 shutdowns.

For the crew at Cheer Zone Athletics, it’s good to be back. All-Star Director Shalon Patterson said, “They love us, they want to come in, they were just ready to come back and we were ready to see them.”

Since the easing of coronavirus restrictions and their reopening on May 11th, Cheer Zone has seen a boost in enrollment numbers and even opened up a new location in D’Iberville, something owner Shiela Perry sees as a big positive. “I’m not sure if it’s everybody’s been stir crazy in the house ready to get out or if everybody’s just wanting to get out for activities in general. So, whatever it is, it’s been good for us.”

Among the biggest changes during this new normal include outdoor check-in for kids, sanitizing performance surfaces after use, and providing parents with the use of a video system to watch their kids practice from a distance. “Obviously we want to do everything the right way and follow law and order, but within reason cause we are a business and we want to try to operate to whatever capacity, even if that’s a modified version,” said Perry.

While the early signs have been positive, there are still some growing pains as everyone makes adjustments. “You know, wearing a mask for one is kind of hard you know, when you’re being active with the kids. It’s something that we have to do, so we push through and, you know, make it work,” said Patterson.

But growing pains and all, everyone is confident in the future as they get back to competition strength. “We’re very optimistic. We’re not letting COVID stop us. We’re going all the way.”

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