Carlos Yulo, GAP grateful to Japan
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID
The Manila Times
THE Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) received roughly P7 million worth of equipment donated by the Japanese government on Friday. Through the Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Project of Japan, FIG standard apparatuses were installed at the GAP training facility inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. “Young gymnasts will now have access to top equipment that will move them forward to becoming medalists in the future,” said Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko during the turnover ceremony. The ribbon cutting was led by Kazuhiko along with GAP President Cynthia Carrion and Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Walter Torres. Also present were top Filipino gymnasts Carlos “Caloy” Yulo together with his Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya. “Above all, I would like to thank God. It would not have been possible if not because of Him. I and my coach were just instruments in making this a reality,” said Yulo. He was fresh from his successful stint in the recent FIG World Cup Series leg in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he scored double gold in the men’s vault and parallel bars competition. The purchase of equipment was sealed in an agreement with GAP during Carrion’s visit to the Japanese ambassador’s official residence in Makati last March 2022. “We would like to thank the Japanese government’s generous help in setting up this facility for our aspiring gymnasts who can now train, and develop their skills and talent using quality equipment that we did not have before,” said Carrion. Among the Senoh Sporting Equipment apparatus installed are men’s parallel bars, women’s balance beam, vault and soft mats — some of which are brand new — and some were used during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Our youthful athletes now have an environment where they can train properly with equipment that was used by elite gymnasts during the big sports events. Hopefully, their lingering aura will rub off on our budding gymnasts,” Carrion added. Aside from the equipment, Commissioner Torres has had talks with Ambassador Kazuhiko about the expansion of the program, which will include development and coaching. “I had a conversation a while ago with the ambassador. I was requesting that in addition to the equipment donated, maybe we could collaborate in pursuing coaches’ development,” said Torres. Yulo will return to Japan by the end of the month to prepare for the last leg of the World Cup Series slated on April 27 in Cairo, Egypt.