MANILA – The Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) on Friday received roughly PHP7 million worth of gymnastics equipment donated by the Japanese government through its Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Project.
Japan's Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko and GAP President Cynthia Carrion led the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the top-of-the-line equipment that were installed inside the GAP Training Center at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.
Also present were Japan Embassy First Secretary Hitomi Akihiko, former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, House Committee chair on Youth and Sports Rep. Faustino Michael Dy III, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Walter Torres, MVP Sports Foundation executive director Jude Michael Turcuato, world champion Carlos Edriel Yulo and Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya.
"We would like to thank the Japanese government's generous help in setting up 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," said Carrion, who signed the grant assistance at the Japanese ambassador's official residence in Forbes Park, Makati last year.
Among the apparatus installed were the men's parallel bars, women's balance beam, vault and soft mats, which have all passed the FIG standards, and made by Senoh Sporting Equipment Company, a leading Japan sports equipment manufacturer.
"We are grateful to Ambassador Koshikawa for helping us in securing the grant so that we can further discover and nurture top gymnasts like Carlos Yulo, a GAP protege since he was seven years old and has emerged as a two-time world champion," Carrion said.
"Our youthful athletes now have an environment where they can train properly with equipment that was used by elite gymnasts during the big sports events. Hopefully, their lingering aura will rub off on our budding gymnasts," she said.
The GAP president also assured that the world-class equipment will be well-maintained to ensure that many young gymnasts will be able to use them for a long time. (PNA)