It was a weekend of gymnastics at Providence School as gymnasts from across the region and beyond participated in the Barbados Gymnastics Invitational as well as the Caribbean Championship.
The Barbados team placed first in the level six Caribbean Gymnastics Championship followed by Team Curacao and Team Aruba in second and third position respectively. Individually, Jamaica’s Jamilia Duffus scored 9.250 points for first place on the uneven bars, Barbadian Niah Kirton was second with 8.500 points with fellow Barbadian Savannah Luke in third with 8.00.
Cayman Islands’ Raegan Rutty also performed impressively scoring 8.4 points on the vault, 9.35 points on the uneven bars, 8.81 on the beam and 9.15 on the floor.
Head coach of the Barbados Amateur Women’s Gymnastics team Alison Jackson toldBarbados TODAY that a number of countries had come to Barbados just for the tournament which was basically two competitions in one.
“It’s two meets in one. The Barbados Invitational we do every year and we usually get teams from around the Caribbean, and Canada. And we are hoping to get some more teams from the US [United States of America] but this year we are also hosting the Caribbean Championships which is new to our region and happens every two years which is why we had so many countries come down,” Jackson said, adding that it was the first time Jamaica had been represented.
“We have teams from Jamaica, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, England, Canada and of course Barbados,” she said.
Jackson pointed out that events and meets like these were very important in the region.
“For a lot of us in the Caribbean gymnastics is so new to this region. These events are a stepping block to boost our kids to a higher level of gymnastics and there is nothing like having competition experience and meeting new friends who love the sport,” she said.
The girls competed on four events: uneven bars, vault, balance beam and floor exercises and the boys competed on the floor, pommel horse, vaulting, parallel bars and high bar.
Jackson also noted that like any other sporting organization facilities were an issue. “Currently we only have one gym because equipment is very expensive and renting space is very expensive but we work with what we have. It’s an ongoing process, we try to do fund-raising every year so we can upgrade the equipment for the children,” Jackson said.