Opening Cebu Gymnastics Academy: training center for local aspiring gymnasts

The Cebu Gymnastics Academy is open to aspiring gymnasts, providing them with a well-equipped facility that will aid them in their training. | Glendale G. Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Gymnastics Academy is officially opening its doors to aspiring young gymnasts, who wish to follow in the footsteps of Cebuana SEA Games gold medalist Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa and Olympian Carlos Yulo.

The well-equipped gymnasium facility officially opened on Sunday, February 20 at the Labangon Primary School Gymnasium.

The school’s gymnasium was converted into a well-equipped gymnastics training center thanks to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC), Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City Division and at the Cebu City Local School Board.

It has the necessary apparatus such as pommel horse, balance beam, parallel bars, padded floor and vault.

This equipment is used gymnastics equipment from the Philippine Gymnastics Association in Manila.

Everything was shipped to Cebu from Manila last September.

Cebu Gymnastics Academy is a well-equipped gymnasium facility in Cebu City.  |  Glendale G. Rosal

Cebu Gymnastics Academy is a well-equipped gymnasium facility in Cebu City. | Glendale G. Rosal

In his speech, PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said they were very optimistic to produce the next Dela Pisa and Yulo with the new facility.

“Not so long ago our gymnast, Daniela Dela Pisa, won the gold medal for us at the last SEA Games in Manila and for that we are really proud of her. In this new facility, we are sure to produce more Dela Pisas and Carlos Yulo,” said Fernandez, who is also the Chef de Mission for the Philippine delegation to the 31st Southeast Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.

According to outgoing CCSC President Edward Hayco, Cebu Gymnastics Academy is strategically located as it is within walking distance of more than 10,000 public school students who can train there for free under the guidance of the head coach Mikhaela Silverio.

“We are almost fully equipped, with no floor for artistic gymnastics. In general, it’s almost over,” said Silverio.

There are 35 young gymnasts currently training there, but on regular days they train over a hundred in 12 schools.

She added that their programs would continue, so they would be prepared whenever face-to-face competitions were permitted.

Cebu Gymnastics Academy is equipped with used gymnastics training equipment from the Philippine Gymnastics Association in Manila.  |  Glendale G. Rosal

Cebu Gymnastics Academy is equipped with used gymnastics training equipment from the Philippine Gymnastics Association in Manila. | Glendale G. Rosal

In his speech, Hayco said they aim to produce an Olympian gymnast who will compete in the 2028 Olympics.

He proudly pointed to the success of Cebu City’s grassroots program which started in 2013 and discovered Cebuana Olympic weightlifter Elreen Ando.

“Our vision is 2028, that is to say in six years. Moingon mo, impossible. In 2013, we developed weightlifting, there was no Hidilyn Diaz at that time. It was an unpopular sport at the time, but we saw the potential of the coaches, they are very dedicated,” Hayco said.

According to CCSC and PSC, their partnership will continue with the opening of two more gym facilities in Mabolo and Guadalupe soon.

Cebu Gymnastics Academy has the necessary equipment to help local aspiring gymnasts with their training.  |  Glendale G. Rosal

Cebu Gymnastics Academy has the necessary equipment to help local aspiring gymnasts with their training. | Glendale G. Rosal

The opening of the Cebu Gymnastics Academy was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the blessing of the sports facility.

The event was attended by SPC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu City Deputy Mayor Dondon Hontiveros, outgoing CCSC Chairman Edward Hayco and incoming Chairman from CCC, John Pages.

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Milton S. Rodgers