Young gymnasts eye Tampa success

Local gymnastics has quietly made
gains in Cayman and has received interest from the youth.

Now the sport hopes to show how
much it has grown through an international meet this week.

Friday sees the start of the annual
Gasparilla Classic in Tampa,
Florida. Cayman will send a team
of boys and girls to compete until Sunday at the Tropicana Field stadium.

Moreover the boys team is the first
male side to represent Cayman abroad.

The event is typically one of the
largest in South Florida. Cayman has sent
squads to the event in years past that brought back team and individual
trophies.

In spite of that pedigree head
coach Kelley Paz, of local gym Motions Unlimited, is quick to say her expectations
this time are for the kids to learn.

“Our expectations for both the
girls and boys are to do their best and have fun,” Paz said. “We are a small
team and our competition schedule is not like some of the teams we will be competing
against in the States.

“Every competition is a learning
experience and there is a lot to be gained from that alone. Each one of our
teams has been entered in the team competition as well so we have an opportunity
to place as a team as well as individuals.”

Paz leads a group of 20 gymnasts.
The girls team has 15 participants in Destiny Campbell, Fiona Cockhill, Hilary
Cockhill, Giselle Ebanks, Arielle Farley, Jade Hernandez, Lauren Hill, Abigail
Lindsay, Jessica Lloyd, Morgan Lloyd, Chanel Parchment, Sami Peene, Raegan Rutty,
Katie Scott and Haley Wilkom.

The boys team consists of Marco
Elverdal, Mikah’il Grant, Jackson Kirkconnell, Robby Rutkowski and Christopher
Touhey. 

As Paz states the team is eager to
compete.

“The kids, especially the boys are
very excited about the competition,” Paz said. “It is a wonderful opportunity
for them to showcase all that they have been working so hard for in the gym.

“Not only that, but it is also an
opportunity to meet and observe other gymnasts from around the world who also
spend a good part of their lives in the gym training.

“Travelling abroad is always exciting
and we are looking forward to travelling as a team to other competitions in the
future.”

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