Limbering up for Jamaica trip

Cayman’s top gymnasts are back in motion and gearing up for their next big event, the Caribbean Commonwealth Gymnastics Cup, in Jamaica. 

Cayman will field a team of 27 gymnasts – boys and girls aged 8 to 16 – at the University of Technology, Kingston from Nov. 14-15. 

Cayman will compete in the inaugural Caribbean Commonwealth Gymnastics League against the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. 

It was formed to promote gymnastics through team and individual competition and help build the sport up throughout the region. Subsequent championships will be held by the various member countries every two years. 

Gymnasts will compete at their respective levels, 1 to 10, defined by a required set of skills at each level and elite which represents an open category. 

The championship is team based with the top three scores for each event at each level earning points for the gymnasts’ respective country. 

Cayman will field girl teams for level 2, level 3, level 4, level 8 and elite. 

Coach Kenzie Brown will lead her level 2 gymnasts, who will compete abroad for the first time. They include Bethany Hawkins, Lauren Cridland, Natalie Bodden, Sofia Bonati, Morgan Crowley, Mia VanDevelde, Tai Wammer and Talia Collett. 

Coach Alison Laidler’s level 3 team includes Maddalena Polloni, Kelly Vanderbol, Meaghan Fowler, Rae Gene Holmes, Anais Small and Arielle Farley. Sarah Bush, Emmi Daykin, Gabriella Royston, Jaiden Gilbert, Tyler Woolaver, Cameron Doak and Destiny Campbell will compete in new level 4 routines for the first time at CCGL. 

The “Dream Team” of Morgan Lloyd, Sami Peene and Raegan Rutty, coached by Kelley Paz, will take on the elites from Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad, hungry for a medal after falling just 0.2 points short of a team bronze at the Inter Island Games in Ynys Mon in July. 

For the boys, training under coach John Leonard, the team is Igor Magalhaes, Sabastian Adapa and Kaleb Woolaver, who will challenge for individual titles as they each compete at different levels. 

Toni Pinkerton is the gymnastics association president. She said. “We are so excited to be able to bring the entire Cayman gymnastics team to take part in this event and are very grateful to Cayman Airways for their contribution.” 

Cayman Airways donated flights for the coaches, the cost of which would normally be shared among the traveling athletes. 

The team will be demonstrating their strength and skill at Camana Bay on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 3.30-6:30 p.m. 

Pinkerton said, “This will be a great opportunity to come out and support our local young talent and to see how far the sport of gymnastics has come in the Cayman Islands over the last few years.” 

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The gymnasts are working hard to prepare for the trip to Kingston.