Muswell Hill gymnastics school feel effects of Brexit as recruitment problems hit home

Ham & High reports… A Muswell Hill gymnastics and dance group is fearing a Brexit where immigration controls aren’t flexible enough to let top coaches into the country.

The London Academy of Gymnastics and Dance, based in Hillfield Park has former world and international champions come over to north London to coach budding gymnasts.

The club coaches nearly 2000 children per week in schools, with the gymnastic luminaries coaching them including Silvia Kostova from Bulgaria.

However Jessica Shenton, who founded the group a decade ago, says she worries about the damage Brexit could have in the long term.

“Since the day of the Brexit vote, people applying for jobs with us from Europe has dropped by 75 per cent. We can’t expand at the rate we would like to if that continues,” said Jessica. She added: “We will have to train our own people at a much faster rate, but they don’t have the decades of experience that some of our coaches already have.”

She said at the moment the club is having difficulty meeting the demand by enthusiastic children and their parents. One Polish coach, a world championships bronze medallist, left Britain within six months of the Brexit vote.

“I want to celebrate the benefits freedom of movement has brought us,” said Jessica. “But I really hope there’s a way forward.”

The club runs sessions in schools nearby in Haringey, including at Fortismere, Coleridge, and Eden primary schools.

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