ON March 17, 2023, the Embassy of Japan held a “Grassroots Assistance Handover Ceremony for the Project for Improvement of Training Environment of Philippines Gymnastics Association” with the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) at the Gymnastics Area, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in the City of Manila.
The Government of Japan donated Japanese gymnastics equipment through the Grassroots Cultural Grant Assistance Scheme to support the GAP’s plan to open a training facility for future gymnasts.
The aim of the facility is to produce gymnasts who will represent the Philippines in the future. At the same time, the facility is not just for top athletes but also aims to provide an opportunity for many children to experience the joy of sports through gymnastics.
Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, GAP president Cynthia Carrion, former president and senior deputy speaker of the House of Representatives Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Rep. and Youth and Sports Development Committee chairman Faustino Michael Carlos T. Dy III, world-class gymnast Carlos Yulo, coach Kugimiya Munehiro, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Walter Torres, Japan Gymnastics Association acting secretary general Nishimura Kenji, and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) deputy secretary general Carl Sambrano graced the ceremony with their presence.
Ambassador Koshikawa expressed his sincere respect for the leadership and passion of GAP President Carrion and Coach Kugimiya in making this facility a reality. The ambassador also expressed his gratitude to the PSC for providing a portion of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex for the grassroots gymnastics facility. He shared Japan’s hopes for the training facility to contribute to the development of sports in the Philippines, especially in enabling the discovery and nurturing of the next generation of Filipino gymnasts.
World-class gymnast Yulo, presently the most recognizable figure in Philippine gymnastics, spearheaded his career through the mentorship of Coach Kugimiya.
Both Yulo and Coach Kugimiya aim to represent the Philippines at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Image credits: AP