This weekend the gymnasts of Motions Unlimited Competitive Team will put their skills to the test in their first meet of the season: the ‘Fall Gasparilla Invite’ in Tampa, Florida. Many of the girls are, understandably, nervous. Most of them are competing brand new routines that they have only been practicing for about six weeks. This past Saturday they had a chance to test the waters in a ‘mock-meet practice’ at Motions Unlimited. Afterwards they were treated to a ‘Good Luck’ Party complete with treats donated by Subway and parents.
Competing this early in the year, although quite common in the United States, is a first for Cayman’s gymnasts. It demonstrates the dedication of the gymnasts, their families and their coaches to the sport of gymnastics. Team members practice between six and ten hours per week. This doesn’t include private lessons and Open Workouts which add another three hours per week. These athletes are committed to, and love the sport. However, without the support of their families their success would not be possible. A great deal of it is financial, but it goes beyond financial. It is the chauffeuring to practices, the encouragement and gentle reminders that they will get the skill that seems impossible at the time, and the cheerleading at meets.
For the past six months the parents of the competitive team gymnasts have been working along with the Cayman Islands Government and the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee on the creation of an organization to further develop the sport of gymnastics in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Island Gymnastics Association will benefit gymnasts now, and in the future. The fledgling organization has ambitious goals including larger regional meets within a few years.
More immediately, they plan on co-hosting the third annual Cayman Classic next June, and are hoping to host a Caribbean meet in 2008. The organization already has the fundraising wheels in motion. Letters have been sent to local businesses encouraging them to hold a corporate dress down day with the proceeds going to the Cayman Islands Gymnastics Association. Local company Paget-Brown held a dress down day last Friday which netted over CI $100.00.
Next up is a Family Fun Day and Raffle which will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2007 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at Motions Unlimited. The day will feature fun activities including gymnastics challenges and crafts for children and the drawing for terrific raffle prizes. The top three prizes are a Blackberry Pearl (donated by Cable and Wireless), an LCD TV (donated by BrandSource Home & Office City) and a fabulous gold bracelet (donated by Caymania). There are also a host of other prizes including spa treatments and gift certificates for meals at local restaurants. Tickets are only $5.00 each and are being sold by the gymnasts and their families.
If you are interested in learning more about, becoming involved in, or supporting, the Cayman Islands Gymnastics Association, please contact Bernice Scott at [email protected].
Motions Unlimited 2007-2008 Competitive Team