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National Invitational Gymnastics Saturday

By JOEL BAILEY Thursday, June 14 2012

APPROXIMATELY 243 competitors are expected to compete at the 18th National Invitational Gymnastics Championships, which will be staged this weekend at the Woodbrook Youth Facility.

And the major attraction will be 15-year-old Canadian-born Marisa Dick, who is using this event as preparation for her participation at the Pan American Apparatus Championships, scheduled from June 19-25 in Medellin, Colombia.

The National Championships was launched yesterday at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo Road and Dick was joined at the head table by her coach Ovidiv Serban, an ex- Romanian gymnast and junior coach.

Serban is now the women’s high performance coach with the Capital City Gymnastics Club in Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, where Dick is based.

“I’m very excited and honoured to be here representing Trinidad, the country where my mom was born,” she said. “This is something that means a lot to me. I’ll like to thank my family and the Trinidad (and Tobago) Gymnastics Federation.”

She recently placed ninth, all-round, in the Canadian Championships, and is also setting her sights on earning a spot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

At the launch, Beacon Insurance announced its ninth successive year as the event’s sponsor and Kristian Kong, Beacon’s Manager of Corporate Communications, said, “it is our hope that Beacon’s contribution to this event, and in other events, can continue to help shape the lives of youth and culture going.” Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) president Ricardo Lue Shue, commenting on the National Championships, stated, “our plan is to use this event as a catalyst to raise the public’s awareness of the sport of gymnastics.”

He added, “as a new National Sporting Organisation (NSO) to the Sports Company, we’re learning how they do business, as we teach them how we do business. Our partnership will elevate the sport of gymnastics to heights never experienced in this country before.”

Ashwin Creed, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Sport, pointed out, “every effort is being made to assist the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation in moving forward, in helping them develop (their) administration, helping them develop their athletes. We are making every effort to get them to a point where they can be a very big (NSO).”

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