Presenting “CSS Viitorul” Cluj Gymnastics Club

A cloudy and rainy spring day…

I timidly step into the ”Sonia Iovan” gym in Cluj, not knowing how the girls will receive me and what will they say… if they’ll say anything. The gym is still empty, I arrived too early. I choose to enjoy the moment by studying how the apparatus are placed around the gym. There’s the floor in the middle. On the left, two high beams, a low one and the bars. On the side, the vault. In the back, the men’s area.

The girls start coming in one by one. The younger ones are accompanied by their mothers or grandparents while the older gymnasts arrive in groups, straight from school. The butterflies in my stomach match the spring flowers the girls are offering their coaches. You can hear laughter coming from the locker rooms. I go out and meet them. Some are shy, others can’t stop talking. We meet and I know we will get along well! We start talking immediately. I join them into the gym and follow their preparation. They start performing their routines with discipline, following the example of the older gymnasts, Nica (10) and Mălina (11). Today there’s a check point for both of them, as they will be competing soon. One after the other, the girls prepare the apparatus and start performing their routines. A balance check, a mistake, a hesitation, a stuck landing, a beautifully executed ring leap, enjoyable floor music, a nice leap…

Mrs. Ioana (Ioana Trincă) takes notes, scores the routines, offers advice and guidance. In another area of the gym, Mrs. Rodica (Rodica Cîmpeanu) and the other coaches are working with the younger gymnasts. Getting ready, walking on the beam – you can already notice the different degrees of confidence there. Meanwhile, Mr. Antonio (Antonio Egri) is busy helping the other girls on bars, paying attention to their toe point and having them practice the routines over and over and over. When the evaluation is done, the girls have to perform again two or three of those routines which didn’t go so well today and some of the beam and bars skills.

I finally get the chance to have a chat with the girls, take some pictures and chat again…about gymnastics, school, their hobbies, new skills…

”Girls, we’re closing the gym!”

I shudder slightly and check the time. It’s 3pm and we must go…time flies! It has been a beautiful 8th of March day! A girls’ day, celebrated among girls! Such an enjoyable atmosphere at CSS Viitorul Cluj among great coaches and adorable kids. It’s impossible not to feel welcome here!


This post is also available in: Romanian