Island Games Gymnastics Team Announced

May 14, 2015

Bermuda Gymnastics announced the 2015 Island Games team at the conclusion of its May 9 home meet, with 14 athletes set to represent Bermuda.

The squad of 14 athletes will head to Ynys Mon on July 20 to compete in the gymnastics portion of the Games, as the sport was not chosen to be held in Jersey.

The national squad gymnasts, ranging in age from 11 to 17, include a team of male gymnasts for the first time.

The Senior Women’s Team includes Tabytha Hofheins [17, Warwick Academy], Gabby Vincent [17, Warwick Academy], Sydney Mason [16, BHS], Zantae Dill [16, Saltus], >Danielle Wall [15, BHS], and Gianna Webbe [13, Warwick Academy].

The Junior Women’s Team includes Anna Francoeur [12, Warwick Academy], Chantae Wilson [11, Nott’s Gymnastics - UK], Jezhari Talbot [11, Paget Primary], and T’aja Williams [11, East End Primary].

The Junior Men’s Team includes Taj Lowery [12, Warwick Academy], Max Blakeney [11, Saltus], Jaden Malpas [11, Saltus], and Niyan Outerbridge [11, Harrington Sound].

Assistant Head Coach Amanda Baughman said, “We are proud of all of our athletes selected to the team and also those who trained alongside them in hopes of earning a spot. This opportunity is a major one for our athletes.

“On the girl’s side, you have youngsters who will be traveling without their parents for the first time and gaining invaluable international experience; while at the other end of the spectrum you have five senior women who will be competing in their 3rd NatWest Island Games.

“They are now seasoned athletes and provide great leadership for our squad. On the boy’s side, these are the 4 gymnasts we started our men’s competitive team with four years ago; they are now old enough for international competition.

“They will be making history for Bermuda Gymnastics.”

Head Coach Duke Nelligan added, “We are certainly aware of the challenge before us to prepare a top notch effort for Ynys Mon. Because of Bermuda’s history of excellence at the Island Games, our gymnasts take the competition very seriously and are motivated to live up to the example set for them, with the likes of Kaisey Griffith, Caitlyn Mello, Morgan and Maya Beckles, and many others.

“Kaisey visits the gym regularly; Caitlyn and the Beckles sisters are coaching for us right now; and you can see how the younger gymnasts respond to them – they want to make their role models and Bermuda proud.

“For Taj, Max, Jaden, and Niyan, they were inspired by watching the men compete here in Bermuda for the 2013 Games, including Oliver Binns and Marcus Smith who competed for Bermuda in that event. It lit a fire in them to be the first full boys team for Bermuda [3 are needed to make up a squad], to be able to compete for a medal. C

“Coach Magan Outerbridge has done an outstanding job preparing the squad since the boys program began, and this international event will be a milestone in her career as well. I am very proud of her”.

Preparations are in full swing for the squad, who will compete on July 23 and 25, with the gymnasts training up to 20 hours per week. Bermuda Gymnastics is working equally as hard to make sure that all selected athletes have the ability to travel.

“The team has been selected based on merit and not the ability to pay; for some, a $3,000 plus trip is just not realistic. We are imploring the community of Bermuda to come together to support the outstanding efforts of these young people. They are committed to their sport and to representing their country.

“These experiences are necessary to reach a higher level of performance in gymnastics and in life, and also to make sure that our future crop of gymnasts have role models who have been to these events and know what it means to wear Bermuda on their backs.

“Thank you to the families, individuals, and organizations who have stepped up to support our team, and a special thank you to Conyers, Dill & Pearman.

“We are seeking additional sponsors to help us reach our $50,000 goal,” says Coach Nelligan.

The gymnasts will be continuing their fundraising efforts by holding a car wash and bake sale at the Warwick Rubis South Shore gas station on Saturday, May 16.

To make a donation to the Bermuda Gymnastics 2015 Island Games team, visit online or contact bdagymnastics@northrock.bm.

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