Poetry in motion

An eight-year-old girl confidently strides across a narrow balance beam. Her tiny feet work the six-inch space as if it is three-feet wide. A seven-year-old leaps off the beam with poise far beyond her years. A teenager soars like a superhero on the uneven bars. Another teen sprints across the floor and fires off a series of flips with a remarkable mix of grace and power.

Hannah Ebanks

Motions Unlimited athlete Hannah Ebanks, 7, performs on the balance beam.
Photographs: Guy P. Harrison

Wow.

While these moves may astonish an outsider, it’s just another day at the office for members of the Motions Unlimited Gymnastics Team. Currently the elite group is training hard to prepare for the 2006 Gasparilla Classic in Tampa. Their target is America’s largest age-group meet, drawing top juniors from across America as well as from many Caribbean nations. Cayman was unable to send a team last year due to Hurricane Ivan but hopes to get back on track with a good showing in February.

‘They have been training extremely hard,’ said coach Janine Olaso. ‘We hope they do well but, most importantly, we want them to do their personal best. Many of them have not competed in two years [due to Ivan] so this will be a challenge for everyone.’

In addition to their work ethic, Olaso says the team has the advantage of their top-rate facility in Industrial Park. It’s massive and loaded with state-of-the-art equipment.

‘I’ve been here two years and we have grown so much,’ Olaso said. ‘Moving into this facility has helped us tremendously.’

The Gasparilla meet is just one of the big events set for 2006. In May, Motions Unlimited will host the Bahamas for a dual meet. In June Motions Unlimited will host more than 200 athletes in Cayman’s first-ever invitational meet. Teams from the Bahamas, Trinidad and US clubs are expected to compete.

Olaso thanked all the sponsors who have committed to helping the team compete in the Gasparilla meet. The primary sponsors are: Cayman Airways, Digicel, Fosters, Cayman National Trust, CUC and Jacques Scott.

Motions Unlimited is owned by Sandra and Michael Alberga. Sandra is the managing director.

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