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New president vows to breathe life into gymnastics

Published:Wednesday | August 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Grant-Brown

Shayne Fairman, Gleaner Writer

Newly elected president of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association (JaGA), Nicole Grant, says her administration is exactly what Jamaica needs to grow the sport into a bigger, better and more traditionally accepted event islandwide.

Grant-Brown was elected president of the JaGA after beating Dave McNeish at the organisation's annual general meeting on Sunday night at Quality Academics on Ardenne Road, Kingston.

The voting was overseen by the election watchdog group, Citizens Action for Free and Fair elections (CAFFE).

"I am happy that I got elected president. My team is committed to represent and grow the sport well," she said.

Grant-Brown is of the view that the previous administration failed to achieve anything on or off the field of play.

"Nothing happened. McNeish did nothing for the sport. The SDF (Sports Development Foundation) stopped funding us, we lost support from the Pan American Gymnastics Union, and we don't even have a bank account," she outlined.

Among her immediate plans is the drive to get an internationally certified technical director to impart top-class training and expertise to emerging talents.

"Now that we have a team, we can move ahead and make things happen in the development of gymnastics. It is fast becoming a first world sport, so we want Jamaica to be on board that emergence," Grant told The Gleaner.

The new administration's slate includes: Nicole Grant-Brown, president; Shin Nishida, vice-president of national development; Nickell Bailey, vice-president of marketing and public relations; Marlene Aldred, honorary secretary; Racquel Rowe, recording secretary; and treasurer Heidi Kay Holmes.

"Our team will hit the track running as we plan to meet with the Jamaica Olympic Association, SDF, and other relevant stakeholders to iron out important matters relating to funding."

Grant further stated that her administration is committed to the long-term development of gymnastics.

"We are ready to do an excellent job. We are confident we can generate interest in gymnastics and secure sponsorship. A number of companies have expressed interest in endorsing non-traditional sports like ours," the president said.