TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Some teenagers spend years training for competitions in the world of gymnastics.

During the coronavirus crisis, they have been sidelined.

“I’m sorry if I get emotional, but this means a lot to my family. We are a family of modest means here. And this scholarship means a lot to her. She has worked her butt off for this scholarship for many, many years. And there has to be some exception made for these types of kids,” said Brenda Diaz, a parent.

Parents and gym owners sounded off to Hillsborough County leaders during Thursday’s Emergency Policy Group (EPG) meeting. 8 On Your Side listened in to their concerns.


Jeff LeFleur owns a Hillsborough County gymnastics center and he is ready to reopen.

“We have all cleaned up our facilities. Created one-way trafficking. And we have of all of our cleanliness and distancing skills in order. And we’re just seeing how we can get something started for some of these kids,” he said during the meeting.

But, the members of the EPG said it is not up to them and instead, turned to the governor since the state order barring gyms to operate is still in effect.

“Again, do understand we have no authority of reopening gyms, that lands in the espouses of the governor. The governor has that authority,” Les Miller, chairman of the Hillsborough County commission, said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated Thursday that a decision on gyms could come as soon as Friday.