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Fletcher H.S. coach looks to help gymnastics gym with equipment on Westside that caught fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local Jacksonville swimming and diving coach, who also coaches gymnastics, wants to lend a helping hand to Gymnastics Unlimited.

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This gym was engulfed in flames just two days ago on the city’s Westside.

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Brian Payne, who is a head diving and swimming coach at Fletcher High School, but also has a gymnastics club called Flip for Fun is looking to help after a devasting fire.

“We have moveable balance beams, octagons,” Payne said.

Tumbling mats, exercise rebounders, and even lesson plans for different gymnastics activities are just some of the things Payne believes can help these coaches and athletes during very tough times.

“If you’ve been training for years to acquire certain skills, then all of a sudden full speed on the breaks and you don’t have the activity you are going to have an empty void,” Payne said.

We traveled over to Gymnastics Unlimited this afternoon to share this news with Lisa Music the owner of this gym.

She had no idea Payne was doing this for her.

Related Story: ‘We’re gonna rebuild:’ Hope remains after fire destroys Gymnastics Unlimited in Jacksonville

“I don’t have any words. It’s a blessing, nowadays all you hear about is tragedy stories. To see that there are other people out there that are willing to open their arms, hearts, and their pockets books for people they’ve never met,” Music said.

Music says this gym had been opened for 35 years, and she has trained hundreds of athletes sending several to college.

She says the equipment that Payne is looking to lend will help her quite a bit.

“In the field of gymnastics that equipment is so much more than what people realize,” Music said.

Music adds right now they will continue to keep the faith and be GU strong (Gymnastics Unlimited) despite what has happened to their gym.

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“They were telling the rest of the GU family, don’t quit Miss Lisa, don’t give up. I promise you guys, God willing, and the community willing, this is what his plan is we will be back,” Music said.

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