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International gymnastics back in Pretoria after 25 years

International gymnastics back in Pretoria after 25 years

Great excitement prevails in gymnastics ranks in Pretoria after it has recently been announced that four international teams will participate in the African Safari Gymnastics Competition, which will be presented in the city this coming weekend.

Teams from Bangladesh, Japan, England and Wales have arrived in South Africa since Tuesday morning to start preparing for the competition.

These four teams will compete against local teams and individuals consisting of some of South Africa’s best gymnasts.

The African Safari Gymnastics Competition will be held at the Centurion Gymnastics Club on Friday, July 20 and Saturday 21 July.

According to one of South Africa’s most experienced gymnastics administrators, Charka Croukamp from Gimtrac in Centurion, the African Safari Gymnastics competition will be the first of its kind in the country since 1992.

The event is the brainchild of Gerhard Ferreira from the Centurion Gymnastics Club, who identified the need to help more of South Africa’s gymnasts get international competition exposure. In addition, many of South Africa’s judges do not get enough opportunities to adjudicate at international events. This event will create an opportunity to do so.

Japan will enter the competition with a full complement of men and women’s teams. South Africa and Japan has an exchange program whereby their gymnasts and coaches benefit from training and competition preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games. The participation of Japan in this African Safari Competition is an extension of that relationship.

Japan’s sports minister, Shuichiro Kawaguchi (left) with gymnasts Lisa Conradie, Aidan Maguire, Ruan Lange and Lukisha Schalk during the announcement of the Africa Safari International Gymnastics Competition in Centurion.Photo: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

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Wales and Bangladesh will be represented by women’s teams. Giarnni Regini-Morgan from England, who was the 2014 Youth Olympic Games Men’s champion, will also be part of the competition.

South Africa will field two national women’s teams and a Gauteng provincial women’s team, while the South African men will have one team and a couple of individual specialists.

According to the organizers all requirements were met by them for the event to ensure it being a fully sanctioned International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) competition. Scoring personnel from the UK and other international judges will be part of the competition and the facilities and apparatus at the Centurion Gymnastics Club will also comply with the standards of the federation.

“The South African gymnastics fraternity will benefit greatly from this competition and we look forward to this becoming an annual event,” said Derick Scholtz, a representative of the South African Gymnastics Federation, at the recent launch of the competition.

The Centurion Gymnastics Club is located in South Street, Centurion, directly opposite the SuperSport Park cricket stadium.

For more information, contact Gerhard Ferreira at Centurion Gymnastics Club on 082-447-7700 or email at [email protected] .

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