Gymnastics federation halts women’s sports program and suspends coaches | Right away
The management of the gymnastics federation KNGU has unanimously decided to discontinue the top sports program of the gymnasts because of an investigation of cross-border behavior and harassment. The coaches involved have been suspended.
“For the time being, the coaches involved will not play an active role in TeamNL,” KNGU President Monique Kempff said at a press conference at the Papendal Sports Centre on Wednesday.
It’s about Vincent Wevers and Gerben Wiersma. The national coaches, who have not yet responded, have not been dismissed, but are not allowed to do their job for the time being.
The trainers were informed by KNGU on Wednesday. “It’s super rough for the coaches,” said managing director Marieke van der Plas.
“Gymnasts are very shocked”
The gymnastics federation announced late Sunday night that an investigation was underway following allegations against Weber and Wiersma. Over the last few days, we have spoken to those involved.
On the basis of these discussions, it was decided to discontinue the top-level sports programme one year before the Tokyo Olympics. “It’s a tough decision,” said technical director Mark Meijer. “And I don’t know what it all means.”
“But in the interests of sport and the credibility of our top-level sports programme, this is necessary. We will talk to the clubs and coaches who are concerned about what this decision actually means for them.”
The gymnasts are allowed to continue training. All joint activities of the national team, such as training places, will not enter into force for the time being. “The gymnasts were very shocked and reacted emotionally to the decision,” Kempff said. “Your Olympic dream is now bursting after years and years of work for it.”
KnGU Technical Director Mark Meijer. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Many gymnasts came up with stories
The riots in the Dutch gymnastics world began on Friday with an interview by Gerrit Beltman with the Noordhollands Dagblad. In it, the former coach of Suzanne Harmes, Verona van de Leur, Gabriella Wammes and Renske Endel confessed that he had physically and mentally abused Turner.
Since then, more than ten gymnasts – anonymously or not – have told abuse stories in sport. Joy Goedkoop said Sunday NOS Studio Sport That she was physically and mentally abused and humiliated at a young age by Vincent Wevers, the current national coach and father of the top gymnasts Sanne and Lieke Wevers. Goedkoop’s story has since been supported by other gymnasts who have worked with Vincent Wevers.
The Dutch team wrote in a statement on Monday evening that they had not recognized themselves in the resulting image. “Where there used to be room for physical and mental flogging, this is a thing of the past for us,” she said.
An emotional Sanne Wevers told the Iot that the allegations against her father have hit hard. “I don’t agree with the allegations that the joy has made and the physical part, but I think it’s very important that there’s a proper investigation and that the truth finally comes out,” the Olympic champion said on the bar.
KNGU President Monique Kempff. (Photo: Pro Shots)