We were 27 gymnasts from the Northern Cape and we came back with 35 medals, with four SA champs and six second places.
KIMBERLEY’S own Rhythmia Gymnastics Club has once more made the City proud.
The club returned to Kimberley from last week’s South African Gymnastics Games which were held at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria between October 1-5.
Rhythmia Gymnastics head coach Tazmia Francis told the DFA that they were pitted against all the top clubs coached by elite national coaches from all over the country at the Pretoria event.
“We represented the Northern Cape at the annual SA Gym Games,” Francis said.
“We participated in all our levels from level four to level eight and we took part in the High Performance category two to senior Olympic gymnast slots.
“We were 26 athletes (from Rhythmia) in all including one other gymnast from Starlet Gymnastic club,” she added.
The Kimberley gymnasts won four gold medals with Karlie De Klerk, Ruby Richards, Trisha Richards and Vuyiswa Dikgetsi excelling at the competition.
Karlie is a level six gymnast and one time SA champion. Ruby is a High Performance level two performer while Trisha is a pre-junior Olympian gymnast and Vuyiswa is a level eight gymnast.
The winners showed off their haul of medals to the DFA after returning to the city this week.
Though proud of their achievements, Francis was disappointed that a larger contingent of talented gymnasts could not make the trip.
“All our squad did well and qualified. Unfortunately, not everybody from the Northern Cape could go through and participate,” she said. “The number of participants at the national event was kept down due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. So only the top two or top three (gymnasts) could go through to the nationals.”
Nevertheless, the medal count was impressive.
“We were 27 gymnasts from the Northern Cape and we came back with 35 medals, with four SA champs and six second places,” the head coach said. “This includes our apparatus medalists. Everybody qualified if you take their scores.
“The medals haul include those gymnasts that performed on an apparatus and its routines. They were awarded points for those. For instance they were scored for the hoop, balls, the rope, the club and the ribbon,” she added.
Francis, who is also a national gymnastics judge, said because some provinces such as Gauteng had bigger teams and the Northern Cape had a small pool of gymnasts registered with clubs, they were obviously ranked higher because of the number of medals they earned.
However, on a pro rata basis, the Northern Cape features prominently among the top clubs that were at the event in Pretoria – 35 medals between 27 entrants is impressive any way you look at it.
Francis confirmed that Rhythmia Gymnastics are at times assisted by the provincial department of Arts and Culture for specific events such as the All Africa Gymnastics Games.
The club had last year been to Cairo, Egypt where they took part in an All Africa Championship event. The club is currently targeting the upcoming Commonwealth Games which are scheduled to take place next year.
Besides that the team might probably take part in the annual Dubai Gymnastics event in December, Francis said.