The dismissal of coaches Marjorie Heuls and Yves Kieffer at the end of October was a bombshell in the Flemish sports world. Flemish Minister of Sports Ben Weyts explained the Gymfed’s decision on Wednesday.
“The dismissal was the sum of, on the one hand, a discussion about the end date of Heuls and Kieffer’s contract, which led to a breach of trust between management and the coaches, and on the other hand, some conflicts in the gym,” explains Ben Weyts.
“It was established that there were sometimes deviations from the interdisciplinary approach and decision-making. That interdisciplinary approach was one of the keys in the ethical discussion we had.”
“An atmosphere has arisen that is not suitable for the delivery of optimal top sports performance by our athletes. Then at a certain point you have to make a decision: let it drag on until the Olympic Games or intervene.”
“I think that the Gymfed acted as a good family man, but as a less good communicator. No explanation has been given as to what was the basis for the decision, which I think is defensible. By not responding to the investigations , there is room for speculation.”
Weyts emphasizes that it is important that the gymnasts can now focus on the Olympic Games in optimal conditions as quickly as possible. “I want them to gain stability and clarity about their guidance as quickly as possible.”
“The Gymfed has assured me that they will do everything they can in the short term to recruit a coach who will stay at least until Paris. In the meantime, there are coaches who guide the athletes so that they do not have to train without a coach.”