This column features a non-profit organisation (NPO) registered in the Cayman Islands. If you’d like your charity to be considered for this column (which means free publicity!) please register your charity as an NPO with General Registry by 31 July 2018.
Competition, and teaching children that staying fit is fun, are central themes for the Cayman Islands Gymnastics Association (CIGA).
Formed in 2006, the CIGA is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the Cayman Islands, overseeing its development and national team representation overseas.
The CIGA is recognised by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) and affiliated with the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, which provides leadership for Olympic sports in the Cayman Islands. In addition, the CIGA is recognised by the Cayman Islands Department of Sports.
The CIGA currently caters to Women’s Artistic Gymnastics and Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, two of seven Olympic disciplines for gymnastics.
The women compete in four events: vault, floor exercise, balance beam and uneven bars.
The men compete in six events: vault, floor, high bar, pommel horse, parallel bars and rings.
The CIGA also recognises parkour as a discipline within gymnastics, and is pleased that it’s growing in popularity in Cayman.
Local athletes have competed in a number of high-profile competitions. Since 2014, gymnasts have represented the Cayman Islands at the Island Games, Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and World Championships.
In addition to supporting national team development, a key strategic initiative of the CIGA is to promote gymnastics locally and make it more accessible in Cayman. A scholarship fund and primary schools programme are supported by funds raised locally by the CIGA.
By investing in the future of our youth and building a foundation that promotes the core values of excellence, friendship and respect—mirrored by the core values of the Olympic Movement—the CIGA hopes to open opportunities for any child to excel in sport and in life.
In addition to their CIGA memberships, about 40 athletes in Cayman are registered with other national federations and associations, including USA Gymnastics, which allows them to compete in those countries as well as locally.
In all, more than 250 young people engage in gymnastics in Cayman. Much of their training takes place at the local gymnastics club, Motions Unlimited, which was established in 1999.
Many youngsters are also exposed to gymnastics as part of their schools’ physical education curricula and afterschool programmes.
Ultimately, the CIGA wants local gymnasts to advance in the sport while feeling that physical activity is enjoyable.
To learn more about gymnastics in the Cayman Islands, visit the CIGA’s Facebook page.
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