PH Gymnastics hopes to unearth more world-class talent with Japan grant
MANILA, Philippines—With the Japanese government’s assistance through a grant to help the gymnastics grassroots program, the Philippines hopes to find more worthy gymnasts to represent the country on the global stage.
The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP), in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan, officially unveiled a new gymnastics training center as part of the Cultural Grassroots Project at Rizal Memorial Complex on Friday.
“This project was driven by our vision and core bond rules in pursuing our dreams to win medals for our country and our continuous belief to produce qualities of world class athletes that would follow the footsteps of Caloy Yulo,” said GAP President Cynthia Carrion.
“We strongly believe that many, many more Caloy Yulos are waiting to be discovered for the other 30 million people that belong to the age group of five and above.”
The program will focus on improving the quality of young talents in the country to see who has the potential to compete in future events. It will also include the refurbishing of the Gymnastics hall at Rizal Memorial Complex where young talents of the grassroots program would train.
“The gymnastics community of the Philippines continues to grow as the years go by,” Carrion said.
Japanese ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, who was also in attendance, also revealed that the grant worth roughly P7,000,000 came with world-class equipment used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
One of the many motivations that Carrion had to push forward the program was her previous experiences with Carlos Yulo, who is fresh from his stint in the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series.
Over the years, Carrion said she had almost “no help” in getting Yulo to the Olympics or other international tournaments.
“Looking back at the hurdles before today, the hurdles to get support for gymnastics was almost none,” Carrion bared.
“We brought Carlos to Japan because I felt in japan he’d be able to focus on gymnastics (more),” she added.
After several years without much help, Yulo is now a Filipino world champion and a constant achiever on the world stage.
What Yulo did in the past is something the Japan Cultural Grassroots Program is looking to replicate.