Forde: debut competitors were ‘rock stars’
Adriana Forde has hailed the Bermuda Gymnastics Association's first-time competitors as “absolute rock stars” after their impressive displays at an international meet in St David's last weekend.
The BGA head coach said that 20 of her 55 athletes were debuting in a competitive environment at the annual Bermuda International Gymnastics Challenge.
Also in action during the two-day meet were Quality Gymnastics, based at the old Berkeley Institute Gym, four teams from the United States, as well as clubs from Canada, Jamaica, Wales and Cayman Islands athletes.
The girls' and boys' teams competed in various United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs and USA Gymnastics levels.
“It was the first time 20 of our athletes have had the chance to compete, the first time they have ever been in an environment like that,” Forde said.
“They were rock stars, absolute rock stars. They looked proud of themselves, had smiles on their faces, were clapping for their team-mates and showed great sportsmanship.
“It was the biggest meet for our club. It was the most athletes we've had compete and it was the most international teams we've had. We had a lot of kids try new skills and they were successful, and that's given them a little boost to keep challenging themselves.”
Forde said the visiting teams enjoyed their experience on the island and praised the contribution of Quality Gymnastics, who were competing against the BGA for the first time.
“Quality Gymnastics' kids looked great,” said Forde, who succeeded Duke Nelligan as BGA head coach in August 2015.
“Their head coach Anna Balada is doing a great job and in the future they will have a lot of success. All of the overseas athletes were super impressed with Bermuda as a whole and really happy with the facility. They had an opportunity to come and train the day before, which took away some of the nerves.
“We wanted to make sure we opened the doors to the organisation so that club felt like a second home to everyone. We wanted to make the international teams feel welcome and supported.”
It has been a busy year for the BGA whose athletes have competed at six meets already this season. Forde said they will taking a break from competition for a few months to learn some new skills.