Gymnastics in Bacolod

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Breathing Gratitude

Thursday, May 22, 2014


“I WILL take a cab if I have to," declared my eight-year-old daughter when she was told that the car could not take her to gymnastics class that day.

It was only her second session and already she was so into it that she didn’t want to miss anything! I was impressed and was very happy that she has found something she is passionate about.

For as long as I can remember, nobody offered gymnastics classes in Bacolod. Not until recently when a young couple, Benjamin and Abigaile Capay, decided to open a school.

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Interestingly, Benjamin’s interest in gymnastics was sparked only in 2010 when he and his wife joined Capoeira with Professor Sapo of Escola Brasiliera de Capoeira. In 2011, he decided to pursue his interest in gymnastics and trained at the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines and Club Gymnastica in Pasig every time he had an opportunity to go to Manila.

Abigaile, on the other hand, had a little training in gymnastics back when she was a cheerdancer for the De La Salle University Pep Squad from 2002 to 2005. Their shared passion for the sport and Abigaile’s love for working with children seemed to be the perfect ingredients for their planned venture.

With the help of Benj’s coach, Jolly Pelino, JumpStreet Gymnastics was established in November 2013, with the vision of giving Bacolodnons a good opportunity to be exposed to the sport.

Since the students are mostly children, the coaches try to look for ways to make training challenging yet fun and enjoyable. The school believes that gymnastics does not only develop the body but it also instills determination and perseverance. The students are constantly reminded not to be discouraged if they fall down and to stand up stronger, not only in training but also in life’s challenges.

The school is particular about the safety of their students and they are advised to practice their stunts in the gym with the guidance of their coaches. I myself have to remind my daughter this because she would do cartwheels and hand stands all the time at home or anywhere we go where there’s sufficient space.

The sport actually teaches the children a lot of things. Physically they develop strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. Socially, the children learn to listen, follow directions, and take turns and be respectful towards each other. Emotionally, they are able to learn trust, discipline, determination, courage and self-confidence. These are beautiful character traits, which many sports are also able to help develop in children.

Benjamin and Abigaile recommend starting them young at around three to five years old but they believe that older children who are more focused and dedicated in training have just as much chance in competitions.

Their goal for JumpStart is to produce high quality athletes who will represent our city or province in national events and even in international platforms.

To culminate their summer program, they will be holding a Friendship Meet on June 2, Monday, at 4 p.m. at the Activity Center of The District Ayala North Point. My daughter is so excited to perform her piece and to showcase what she has learned this summer. This event is open to the public.

I am so thankful that Bacolod is truly progressing in culture and sports and that now we have all these classes available for our children to choose from. I am even more thankful that my daughter has found a sport that she loves!

***

JumpStreet is located at Arrows Badminton Court, 13th Street, Bacolod City. You may also inquire at 0925-8704026/0917-3005173.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 22, 2014.

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