What have we learned from the death of Michelle Maitland?

This is a follow-up to the tragic death of Michelle Maitland on 18th June 2009 in Australia.

Michelle was killed when her head struck concrete falling from a tumbling trampoline during an Adult Recreational class at Gymnastics Townsville. The club was found Guilty of safety breaches under the Qld WH&S Act in October 2010 and their appeal was dismissed in March 2011.

If anyone can hit concrete from a trampoline device, the club should be found liable.

Australian politician Rob Messenger has been pushing for higher standards for the safety and well-being of children in Queensland’s gymnastics clubs. And it seems there’s been some positive action. A report is expected by end of June 2011.

Michelle’s mother, Ann, sends this update:

Gymnastics Queensland board of directors has replaced their CEO twice since Michelle’s death. Since their appointments, the new CEO and Board has been taking charge of enforcing existing regulations, introducing safeguards and improving education of their associated clubs’ managers and staff. A forum was held in May to inform the club managers of the board’s decisions and a series of workshops have been organised to remind clubs of their obligations and responsibilities. The first of these was held on 7th June in Brisbane. DVD’s of the workshops will be issued to clubs who do not attend. These actions have been taken ahead of and separate to any recommendations that may come out of the report being prepared for the Attorney-General.

That’s a start.

If any materials are made available from Gymnastics Queensland that we can share with the rest of the world, I’ll post them.

R.I.P Michelle Maitland
5 Nov’ 89 – 18 June 09
You made a difference

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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