A team of gymnasts from Cayman will compete next month in the Inter-Islands Games in Ynys Mon.
Morgan Lloyd, Sami Peene, Raegan Rutty and Igor Magalhaes will represent the Cayman Islands in the July 21-25 games.
The team was announced and presented with commemorative plaques by Governor Helen Kilpatrick at the Summer Extravaganza hosted by Motions Unlimited as part of Cayman’s Olympic Day celebrations on Saturday.
The gymnasts, coached by Kelley Paz, will compete in the Senior Women’s division as a team on vault and floor and will also compete individually in all four disciplines – vault, floor, beam and bars in a set/compulsory competition on July 23 and in an open FIG competition of July 25.
Magalhaes, coached by Alison Gansebom, will compete in the Junior Men’s division in six events, floor, vault, parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse and rings, on July 23.
Gymnastics is an optional sport at the NatWest Island Games and is included at the discretion of the host country. Gymnastics was part of the Island Games in 2013 in Bermuda and will be included again in the 2017 Island Games in Gotland.
While gymnastics is not part of the Island Games in Jersey this year, Ynys Mon will host the member countries at a separate event immediately following the official Games, according to organizers, who say that one of the benefits of the separate event is the ability to add the junior category (age 11-12).
Magalhaaes will be the first gymnast to compete in the category and he will also be the first male gymnast to represent Cayman in an international competition.
Lloyd, 16, took part in the 2013 Island Games, going on to qualify for and represent Cayman at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in 2014. While still overcoming recent injuries, she hopes to compete at both the Pan American Games and the Inter-Islands Games next month.
Peene and Rutty will represent Cayman for the first time at these Games. Both girls hold titles at regional, state and invitational competitions in the Caribbean and the U.S. They were both invited to a Junior Women’s training camp hosted by the Pan American Gymnastics Union at the U.S. National Training Center in Texas.
Cayman gymnasts Lauren Hill and Katie Scott were the first to represent Cayman at the Inter-Islands Games in Jersey in 2011, competing in all four disciplines of the women’s event. In 2013, at the official NatWest Island Games in Bermuda, Cayman competed in the team event for the first time, with five gymnasts – Bethany Dikau, Morgan Lloyd, Jessica Lloyd, Haley Willkom and Hillary Cockhill. Bethany took home Cayman’s first gymnastics medal in international competition, earning silver on vault. Coach Paz has been the women’s coach for all three Games.
Jersey, Isle of Man and Bermuda have traditionally lead the medal standings at these events and are all expected to field strong teams in 2015. Cayman’s up-and-coming gymnasts say they are determined to make their mark under the guidance of coaches Paz and Gansebom and technical advisor Pam Collett.
The team are supported by local sponsor Scott Security.