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Grandi at grand opening of Academy

Professor Bruno Grandi, president of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), officially opened the South African National Academy of Gymnastics, at the Matsport Centre based in Centurion, Tshwane on 1 October, 2010.

The event was also attended by Counsellor Khorombi Dau, member of the Mayoral Committee of the City of Tshwane; Vernie Petersen, Director General of Sport and Recreation South Africa; Professor Chunderpal Singh, Chief Director Sport & Recreation South Africa and Hajera Kajee, first vice-president of SASCOC.

The opening was held with pomp and flair at the South African Gymnastics Federation (SAGF) Gala and Awards Evening with performances from various groups that entertained the delegates and crowd. The performances proved to be highly entertaining and of high quality and featured Protea gymnasts such as Ray Meas (eerobic gymnast) and Aimee van Rooyen (rhythmic gymnast) who competed at the recent Youth Olympic Games.

The venue which has been graciously donated by the City of Tshwane makes the city the new home of gymnastics development and training in Southern Africa. The facility, in conjunction with the donation of international standard equipment by the FIG, will assist South Africa in its drive to become a top competitor in the international gymnastics arena.

In his address at this inaugural event, Councillor Khorombi Dau expressed his delight that the South African National Academy of Gymnastics has made the City of Tshwane as its home. This is especially so as the Gauteng province produces a host of top class athletes.

Vernie Petersen further reiterated in his address the importance of the Academy in providing opportunities for youth to participate in sport and further providing opportunities to develop and to compete on the world stage.

The SAGF Gala & Award Evening took place during the SAGF Gymnastics Games 2010, the National Championships of all the nine disciplines in the SAGF fraternity.

Professor Bruno Grandi was impressed with SAGF’s commitment to the development of gymnastics especially through the Federation’s Gym for All programmes.

In his key note address, Professor Grandi, who unveiled the plaque which commemorated the occasion said: ÔÇ£I am impressed with the commitment to the development of gymnastics in South Africa. It is not easy to compete at the top and hence it is important to build the base on which you can reach the top.ÔÇØ

He was accompanied by the FIG Auditor & President of the International World Games Association (IWGA), Mr. Ron Froehlich and Nicolas Buompane, the Deputy Secretary General of the FIG.