Friday, the Japanese government donated around PHP7 million worth of gymnastics equipment to the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) through its Grant Aid for Cultural Grassroots Programme.
Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko and GAP President Cynthia Carrion conducted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the GAP Training Center at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.
World champion Carlos Edriel Yulo and Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya were also present.
Carrion, who signed the grant assistance at the Japanese ambassador’s official residence in Forbes Park, Makati, said, “We would like to thank the Japanese government for its generous assistance in establishing this facility for our aspiring gymnasts, who can now train and develop their skills and talent using quality equipment that we did not have before.”
The apparatus installed included the men’s parallel bars, women’s balancing beam, vault, and soft mats, all of which met FIG specifications and were manufactured by Senoh Sports Equipment Company, a leading Japanese manufacturer of sporting equipment.
“We are grateful to Ambassador Koshikawa for assisting us in procuring the grant so that we may continue to identify and cultivate elite gymnasts like Carlos Yulo, who has been a GAP protégé since he was seven years old and is now a two-time world champion,” Carrion added.
“Our young athletes now have a setting in which they may exercise with the same apparatus utilized by elite gymnasts at major sporting events. We hope that their charisma may rub off on our aspiring gymnasts,” She stated.
The president of GAP also ensured that the equipment of world-class quality will be well-maintained so that many young gymnasts will be able to use them for an extended period of time.