Gymnasts to make Games history
Bermuda will field a men's gymnastics team for the first time at the NatWest Island Games in July.
The Bermuda Gymnastics Association selected a team of 14 following Saturday's meet at Southside and will include a four-member junior men's team of Taj Lowery, Max Blakeney, Jaden Malpas and Niyan Outerbridge.
Duke Nelligan, the Bermuda head coach, is excited to be taking a boys team to the Games for the first time.
“For Taj, Max, Jaden, and Niyan, they were inspired by watching the men compete here in Bermuda for the 2013 Games, including Oliver Binns and Marcus Smith,” Nelligan said. “It lit a fire in them to be the first full boys team for Bermuda — three are needed to make up a squad — to be able to compete for a medal.”
Nelligan said the team were aware of Bermuda's reputation at the Island Games and were determined to make Bermuda proud.
“We are certainly aware of the challenge before us to prepare a top notch effort for Anglesey,” Nelligan said.
The team is led by 17-year-old Warwick Academy pair Tabytha Hofheins and Gabby Vincent who won silver medals at the 2013 Island Games in Bermuda.
Other senior team members are Gianna Webbe of Warwick Academy, Sydney Mason and Danielle Wall of Bermuda High School and Zantae Dill of Saltus.
“We are proud of all of our athletes selected to the team and also those who trained alongside them in hopes of earning a spot,” Amanda Baughman, the assistant head coach, said. “This opportunity is a major one for our athletes.
“On the girls side you have youngsters who will be travelling without their parents for the first time and gaining invaluable international experience while at the other end of the spectrum you have five senior women who will be competing in their third NatWest Island Games.”
The team will fly to Anglesey on July 20 to compete in their events on July 23 and 25 as gymnastics are not being held in Jersey along with the other sports.
Senior women: Tabytha Hofheins (17, Warwick Academy), Gabby Vincent (17, Warwick Academy), Sydney Mason (16, BHS), Zantae Dill (16, Saltus), Danielle Wall (15, BHS), Gianna Webbe (13, Warwick Academy).
Junior women: Anna Francoeur (12, Warwick Academy), Chantae Wilson (11, Nott’s Gymnastics, UK), Jezhari Talbot (11, Paget Primary), T’aja Williams (11, East End Primary).
Junior men: Taj Lowery (12, Warwick Academy), Max Blakeney (11, Saltus), Jaden Malpas (11, Saltus), Niyan Outerbridge (11, Harrington Sound).