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Murray off to Germany for Leverkusen Cup

Artistic gymnast Gabriela Murray will fly the flag for South Africa in Germany later this week. She’s the sole SA representative at the Leverkusen Cup.

A member of the Paragon Gymnastics Club in Johannesburg, Murray (pictured above) will be accompanied by coach Jennifer Crawford.

Seven countries will be represented at the event, organized by the Turn-Club 72 Leverkusen.

South African gymnastics has already experienced success at this event with Aatiqah Abrahams winning bronze in the vault last year.

Meanwhile three other SA gymnasts competed at the AEON Cup Worldwide R.G Club Championships in Japan earlier this month.

More than 60 gymnasts from 23 countries took part with Shannon Gardner doing best of the two seniors that made the trip.

The 2014 Youth Olympics competitor took 30th overall with a points tally of 39.350 while Palesa Mohlamme was just one spot behind with a mark of 38.850.

The other member of the team was Lilica Burger and she ended 15th overall with a score of 39.850.

Her best individual score was the club event where she was 13th with a mark of 11.100.

And in other gymnastics news last month saw the first introduction workshop held by Marti Heri (SAGF Development Manager) at the National Disability Games of SASA II (SA Sports Association for the Intellectually Impaired (SASA-II).

Realising the low number of participating provinces in the disability section of last SRSA School Games, Marti initiated a contact with chairperson;Lizzie Vogel for collaboration.

To improve the number of institutions and participants in all provinces involved in disability gymnastics, representatives from all nine provinces and teachers from local special schools from North West Province were invited by SASA II with the coordination of Charles Sipung, North West SASA II Chairperson.

Twenty-five teachers and coaches, accompanied by national/provincial committee members from eight provinces, took part in a 90-minute interactive workshop in the morning to understand the benefits of gymnastics as a foundation sport for the development of ABC’s such as: agility, balance, coordination and speed while promoting health and fitness.

A variety of playful activities including warm-up games, fun exercises for body preparation with own body weight to develop strength, speed, CV endurance and flexibility were not only demonstrated, but more importantly experienced by all participants. Equipment like skipping ropes, hoops, balls that are easily accessible anywhere was used.

Another 90-minute session took place that afternoon for 14 teachers from 10 special schools of North West Province to give even more practical ideas to start implementing gymnastics in their institution. SAGF donated some basic hand equipment for the programme to enable the teachers to show what the minimal requirement is needed to kick-start a foundation programme in their school.

Special school coordinator for the region: Granny Modise from Neo Mathabe Special School was identified to establish a North West Disability Gymnastics task team. She will create a ‘whats app’ group for communication and email the participants to share ideas and notes from the workshop.

Max Ndemera, a rope-skipping coach from Lillian Leletha Special School was appointed to run rope skipping workshops in the region. Max has been involved in gymnastics for a few years and is taking a disability team to the National School Games in December. Marti consulted Sbu Mabele, Development Representative of Rope Skipping Technical Committee to guide him how to facilitate beginner workshops in future.

The concept of FUNdamental Gymnastics Workshops will be discussed at the Development Indaba on 20-21 October  and another workshop with a focus on disability will be held during the National School Games in Cape Town on 13 December to capacitate SAGF provincial school representatives to facilitate more introduction workshops in the provinces.


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