Gymnastics programme welcomes new home
The full use of the former Mustique hangar at the decommissioned ET Joshua Airport and the acquisition of more equipment, have placed the Dolphins Gymnastics Programme on a firmer footing.
Thanks to Johnathan Palmer, the National Properties Limited, the husband and wife team of Kerry Williams and LaPrise Harris-Williams, the hangar has been retrofitted, thus making it suitable to efficiently train persons in gymnastics.
Additionally, with the help of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee which sourced funding from the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO), several important pieces of equipment were purchased, thus enhancing the stock.
Excited by the new facility, Harris–Williams said, “This facility will totally transform gymnastics in St Vincent and the Grenadines… We can focus on those basic skills that can develop to something bigger”.
“We now have the Olympic apparatus… We can train our kids in the way kids are trained in other parts of the world. Before we had things which were not appropriate to train to Olympic style skills … Now we have everything that is needed to train an athlete from level one to elite,” Harris-Williams told SEARCHLIGHT.
High in praise for the input of the SVG Olympic Committee, and by extension, PASO, Harris-Williams noted that the sport has in its assets, “a 75 percent increase in equipment “.
Buoyant and looking ahead at the prospects, Harris–Williams added: “With the new equipment and the new facility, we will be able to produce better athletes”.
Sharing the expectations of Harris–Williams were three of the current stock of gymnasts.
Myracle Doyle, who has been in the sport for the past two and a half years, expressed her excitement in having the new gym facility, stating, “We are enjoying the new gym”.
Similarly, Chiamaka Jackson plans to make optimum use of the new equipment especially.
Hence, she plans to train harder, with better facilities and better equipment in place.
And, echoing sentiments of Doyle and Jackson, was Lydia Sutherland, who in giving her thoughts on the facility stated, “It is good because of all the new equipment and I want others to come and join gymnastics too”.
Since getting started here in 2015, Dolphin Gymnastics has accumulated close to 180 active gymnasts, spread across the mainland, as well as in Bequia and in Mustique.
And, despite their relative inexperience, St Vincent and the Grenadines has been represented at championships in Florida and Texas, in the USA, as well as championships here in the Caribbean, namely Barbados and Jamaica.