Officials laud SVG’s progress in Gymnastics
The progess of the sport of gymnastics here in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) over the past three years, was lauded by speakers at last Saturday’s opening of the new training facility of the Dolphin Gymnastics and Health Academy, and by extension, the SVG Gymnastics Association.
The new facility, which once housed the hangar for Mustique Airways, at the decommissioned ET Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale, is the untiring efforts of Kerry and LaPrise Harris-Williams of the Dolphin Gymnastics and Health Academy.
Johnathan Palmer, managing director of Mustique Airways, speaking at last Saturday’s opening ceremony, referred to the Williamses, as “just great people”.
Palmer noted that the hangar has been a model of progress and success for all the persons who have stepped through its doors, hence he expects the sport of gymnastics will follow suit.
In handing over the facility, Palmer declared, “It is my distinct honour to donate this hangar so that its legacy be continued by the children of St Vincent and the Grenadines”.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Ces Mc Kie, stated: “It is an achievement which we must highlight here in St Vincent and the Grenadines… It is a clear reflection that we can achieve if we put our hearts, our minds, our energies together”.
Mc Kie added: “You are on to a great thing and you have now offered the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines an option; a new option where you ventured into waters … Yes we have had activities of a similar nature, but nothing like this”.
Addressing the ceremony as well was Keith Joseph, secretary general of the SVG Olympic Committee, which was instrumental in procuring funding from the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) to retrofit and equip the facility.
“There is not a moment that any of us associated with the Olympic movement in St Vincent and the Grenadines regret, having become involved and embroiled in this project,” Joseph commented.
Before acquiring the new gymnastics facility, which is under the assets of National Properties Limited, the Dolphins Gymnastics and Health Academy, operated at the Prospect Racquet Club and at Davy’s Macaroni building at Glen, but both locations proved to be inadequate for the demand of the sport.
The Dolphins Gymnastics and Health Academy began operating here in October 2015 and has grown from just one gymnast to close to 200 three years later.
There are operations on 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.