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Gymnastics likely won’t return to PHCS this year

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PARISHVILLE - For the first time in more than 40 years, students from the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District may not be putting on a gymnastics exhibition show.

The show, which is the culmination of several of months of practice, has likely been axed this year, following the retirement of longtime coach Ann M. Kreuger-Harmon Burrows.

“At this point we do not have anyone who is qualified to coach,” Superintendent Darin P. Saiff said. “It doesn’t appear that with the timing we’ll have a program this year.”

Despite not having anyone qualified to coach, the district did at one point have two of Ms. Burrows’ former gymnasts express an interest in taking over the program. Nikki Perkins and Darcie MacNiel had said they would do whatever it took to get certified if they could be assured the program would be brought back.

Mr. Saiff said he anticipates the board will discuss gymnastics again at its February board meeting.

“We’ll continue to dig deeper into this, and it should be on the agenda next month,” he said.

Mr. Saiff said until that conversation takes place and a consensus is reached there is still a possibility for gymnastics to return to the district.

“Based on how that conversation goes, we’ll have a better idea of the future of the program going down the road,” he said.

Should the board decide they would like to see gymnastics return to the district, prospective coaches would have more than enough time to get certified prior to the start of next year’s season.

After last month’s meeting, Mr. Saiff said he thought a final decision on the future of gymnastics had been made, but the discussion was renewed following a letter the board received from Ms. Burrows and the presentation of a petition to bring the sport back that was signed by 103 students.

Ms. Burrow’s noted in that letter that two of the district’s current board members were gymnasts she coached and five (the majority of the board) have children who have participated in the program.

The restoration of the program would require the support of at least five board members.

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