Gymnasts appeal for permanent home

April 07, 2016
JIS/Michael Sloley Photo Japanese Ambassador Masanori Nakano (right) and UWI Mona Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Archibald McDonald (right) sign the agreement for US$90,000 of grant funding from Japan for construction of a gymnasium at the university. Japanese Deputy Chief of Mission to Jamaica Hiromoto Oyama (standing left) and Campus Registrar Camille Bell-Hutchinson assist at the ceremony held on March 2, 2016.

Jamaica Amateur Gymnastic Association (JAGA) President Nicole Grant-Brown says in order for her administration to grow and develop the sport, they need a training facility to call their own.

She noted that a grant of U$90.000 was made by the Japanese government to the University of the West Indies (UWI) in March, to assist with the building of a gym to help local gymnasts.

However, this new university gym, which is scheduled to be completed between July and August, does not promise unlimited training time and equipment, as it will still be under the university's authority.

Grant-Brown argues that they need training a headquarters with unlimited access to keep their national programmes active, as gym cost is a major obstacle in the development of their national junior gymnasts.

"Our junior nationals are desperate for a facility to use because they have to pay to be a member of a private club. One of our best juniors in her category has been at home for four weeks because she is unable to pay the gym that she goes to," she told STAR Sports.

"This is hindering the development of the sport. In gymnastics, you have to train consistently, every single day, and that is why JAGA have to have its own facility, so we can have our national programme ongoing without the worries of parents having to pay. That's one of the biggest

concern of JAGA right now and we are working to get a facility to facilitate all our athletes, whether they can afford it or not," she continued.

Grant-Brown added that finding equipment is often also an issue.

"We need a floor and that costs over U$45,000, so even to use the university facility for one hour means we will have somewhere we can use," she said

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