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Jamaica to host Pan Am Youth Hopes gymnastics tourney

Published:Friday | December 1, 2023 | 12:11 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Nicole Grant
Nicole Grant

A six-member youth team inclusive of Mariah Gordon, Zuri Matandara-Clarke, Elyssa Alexander, Jesanique Scott, Sukhuri-Shay Smith and Emelia Sharpe are locked in preparation mode under the watching eyes of coaches Nadeen White and Tristan Hall, as the country gears up to host the 2023 Pan American Hopes Artistic Gymnastics Tournament set for December 8-12 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

Nicole Grant, president of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association, shared that the opportunity to not only host the tournament but a president’s meeting, which will be conducted on December 4, gives Jamaica the opportunity to build a better relationship with the participating countries in the Pan American region. She added that the meeting will also serve as a platform to discuss key issues, ideas for growth and lay the foundation for future partnerships.

“As the president of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association, I am thrilled to announce that the Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU) has approved Jamaica to host the upcoming Pan American Youth Hopes Tournament and the Inaugural Caribbean President meeting to be held in Jamaica. This momentous event will bring together talented gymnasts from the Pan American region and will provide a platform for exchange and collaboration among the gymnastics family in the Pan American region,” Grant said.

With a week to go before the start of the tournament, Grant believes Jamaica’s selection to host the event is also a sign that the sport is indeed growing in the country and augurs well for future development.

“It’s another milestone and I’m happy, honoured and blessed that Jamaica has been chosen to host this prestigious event. This will showcase the dedication, skill and passion of gymnasts from the Pan American region, and this is a testament of the growth and development of gymnastics in Jamaica,” she stated.

As for the competition Jamaica is set to face, seven of the leading participants in the Pan American region are to embark in what is expected to be a competitive five days of action.

“This tournament will feature competitors from Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. We are excited to showcase Jamaica’s vibrant culture, warm hospitality and love for gymnastics during this tournament,” she added.