Efforts to accommodate young Tayside gymnasts during the temporary closure of the area’s main training centre have been branded “derisory”.
The Dick McTaggart Centre in Dundee is due to close on January 6 for around six weeks to allow for essential upgrades to the heating system.
Following a three-week wait, clubs who use it have now been offered “useless” alternatives during the shutdown, according to Clare Huxley, chairwoman of Dundee Gymnastics Club 2K (DGC2K).
Leisure & Culture Dundee, who run it, say Menzieshill Community Hub and the Lynch Sports Centre, will be able to take in clubs during the period.
Ms Huxley said the ‘displacement options’ are “completely inadequate” and said clubs were not asked for their opinion on suitable closure dates.
She said: “We’ve been waiting for their proposals for about three weeks and then we get this. It’s effectively nothing.
“It equals 13 hours per week with minimal equipment whereas we use the McTaggart for 32 hours.
“It’s just not going to work. One of the times offered is from 8pm until 10pm. Some of the members are eight years old so how is that reasonable?”
The club has 120 members, some of whom train for up to 20 hours every week.
They pay a total of £4,500 to L&CD every month and £15,000 to coaches.
Ms Huxley said the start of the year is the one of the most important times for members to train.
She said: “We were not involved in the decision making process at all.
“If we had been we would have told them that the summer or even over the Christmas period would have worked so much better.
“We have lots of competitions coming up early next year so we need to train throughout January.
“If proper alternative accommodation isn’t available at this time then the work should be postponed until suitable provision can be made.
“If we simply stopped training at the McTaggart for 6 weeks we would still have to pay our coaches £15,000.”
The centre is owned by Dundee City Council but run by arms-length organisation L&CD.
A spokesperson for Leisure & Culture Dundee said: “We are actively working with all clubs to make alternative arrangements. The improvement work will of course benefit all clubs once completed.”