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Gymnastics Vaults Back at Barlow

EASTON, Conn. — Powder your hands and tape your wrists — Joel Barlow High School will soon be offering gymnastics.

"It's a great sport. It encompasses the majority of health skills — flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance," said Michael Santangeli, athletic director. "I feel best that we're bringing something back that we lost."

Barlow offered gymnastics until the early '90s, said Santangeli, when it was discontinued because of a lack of interest. However, parents and students have contacted Santangeli, asking for gymnastics at the high school. "It's another way for students to connect with the school," said Santangeli. "There are only so many spots [on a team]. By adding sports, we provide more opportunities for students."

When the program was discarded in the '90s, so was the equipment. Without the equipment or the space at Barlow, Santangeli contacted the athletic director in Weston, where there is a small team and equipment at the middle school. The Weston coach, Salina Tavella, would work for both teams, cutting costs for both programs by splitting the coach's salary, transportation and tournament fees.

Principal Thomas McMorran said Barlow tries to "anchor every kid in the building," by providing something special, such a sport.

Interested students will meet in August or September to discuss the gymnastics program. The cost will be funded by parents and determined by how many sign up. For more information, email Michael Santangeli at msantangeli@region9ps.org .

Will you or your child be joining the new gymnastics team? What other sports do you wish Joel Barlow offered? Leave your comments below.

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