It’s not easy finding good news in these weary days of the coronavirus, but high school gymnastics is providing some.

Participation in the sport has, for the most part, risen and there are usually fewer restrictions than in other sports.

Athletes must keep their social distance and wear masks when competing (unless they’re at least 14 feet apart), and there are no spectators, but dual meets are going on as usual.

“Safety-wise, gymnastics can be done safely given the protocols and safety measures in place,'' said Haverhill High coach Melanie Tarbox.

"The MIAA and MVC have done a great job providing us with guidelines to follow to keep everyone safe,” she said, referring to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Merrimack Valley Conference.

The Hillie girls have adapted well to the safety measures in Massachusetts. Tarbox stressed the importance of that from the beginning.

“On the first day of the season, I told the girls we were really going to spend the first week hammering the new rules into our heads,” she said.

“The goal is for the COVID rules to become second nature so that they are strictly followed while not being the focus of each practice,'' she said. "This will enable the girls to have some normalcy in their lives, and some fun.”



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