Not long ago, the world seemed to have a fascination with toilet rolls.

Panic buying of them was an early feature of the spread of Covid-19.

Now, closer to home, they are being focused on in a different way thanks to an online challenge laid down by Te Puke Gymsport Club.

The challenge — to stack as many toilet rolls on top of one another as possible — doesn't seem that hard. The catch is, you have to be standing on your hands the whole time.


Gymnasts from the club have been sending in videos of their successes which are then being posted on the club's Facebook page.

Aviv, whose parents Valery Savins and Alida Savina coach the club's competitive gymnasts, was the first to stack three toilet rolls.

''He struggled and tried really hard and when he finished it, he was jumping up and down — I think he tried for five or six hours,'' says club president Sarah Elliott, ''so it's not something that's easy to do that's for sure.''

Sarah says the challenge is more than just a bit of fun.

''The reason behind it is it helps with body tension and the ability to hold a hand stand which, in gymnastics, is something you have to be able to do.

''It was something one of the coaches came up with as a way of helping them at home.''

Te Puke Gymsport club is hoping to be able to run its annual primary school competition later in the year.
Te Puke Gymsport club is hoping to be able to run its annual primary school competition later in the year.

The club has thrown out the challenge to other athletes - such as crossfitters.

The challenge is just one of the ways the club is helping not just its own members but the wider community during alert level 4 and 3 restrictions.


''We made a decision when we had to close that it was not just our own members we could help, but other people out there too. We thought lots of parents are going to be at home with their kids and looking for activities to do. Our coaches just came to the party and said 'we've got heaps and heaps of ideas'.

''We've parkour coaches, gymnastics coaches and preschool coaches and they came up with their own ideas and they have all put heir videos together themselves.''

There have also been specific programmes for the competitive gymnasts to follow and videos have been uploaded to the club's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

''There are lots of coaching tips and some of the kids have sent us videos, so we've put them there too.''

The club runs an annual competition for Te Puke's primary schools and hopes to hold it last this year.

''We've put up [videos] of some of the routines that the kids can practise as well.''

Sarah says at this stage it is unclear if the club will be able to reopen under alert level 2.

''The longer we stay closed, the harder it will be for the club to get going again — it's going to be a real challenge.''