Male gymnasts ready for valuable learning curve
Oliver Binns admits he’s still a little surprised to find himself representing host nation Bermuda at the 2013 NatWest Island Games.
Binns, along with Marcus Smith and Charles Lowery, will form the Island’s first ever male gymnastics team to compete in the biennial event that starts this weekend.
The 30-year-old, who has a martial arts background, has only been active in gymnastics for six months but believes the experience will be valuable in terms of sharing knowledge with Bermuda’s up and coming male gymnasts.
“Two years ago I wouldn’t have even thought about representing Bermuda in the Island Games, but it should be fun and teach us a few lessons and I’m ready for competition to begin,” said the Californian, who is a Bermuda Gymnastics Association (BGA) strength and conditioning coach.
“The experience will be valuable for us in the sense that we can pass along the knowledge to the younger athletes and better prepare them for the international arena down the road.
“Bermuda’s better gymnasts are too young to compete this time around so it’s more of an experience thing for us rather than looking to medal and things like that.
“If we can get out a few clean performances then we will be happy.”
Binns, Smith and Lowery were selected by the BGA national coaching staff to compete in the team event, which includes the floor and vault.
Binns said he would have competed in more events had it not been for work commitments.
“I don’t have time to participate in as many disciplines as I would like as my work schedule is pretty hectic around this time of the year,” he said.
“I’m looking to putting my best foot forward when the time comes.
“Outside of (gymnastics) I’ve been doing some martial arts which naturally helps me with my tumbling and rolling and so forth, so I’ve been active but only in gymnastics for six months.”
The Island Games gymnastics events will be held at the BGA National Training Centre at Southside, St David’s.
Bermuda will be competing against Islands such as Aland, Jersey, Faroe, Cayman, Isle of Man, and Ynys Mon in three days of competition, both women's and men's.
Tabytha Hofheins, Sydney Mason, Gabby Vincent, Zantae Dill, Danielle Wall, Clara James, Samantha Soares and Sadia Wilson will represent Bermuda in the women’s events.