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SA gymnastics set to get Japanese support
- Updated: April 30, 2015
South African gymnastics will soon be benefiting through the support of 2020 Olympic Game host nation, Japan.
Earlier this month, Mr Morinari Watanabe, Secretary General of the Japanese Gymnastics Association and a member of the FIG Executive Committee, visited South Africa for two days on his Africa tour to discuss establishing relationships with the South African Gymnastics Federation (SAGF) and Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA).
Tokyo will hosts the 2020 Olympic Games. Watanabe is investigating the current status of gymnastics on the African continent, with the aim of offering support and assistance to upskill the high performance programme on the continent. During his African tour he visited Olympic House in Johannesburg, headquarters of Olympic governing body SASCOC.
Japanese gymnastics is particularly strong in Men’s Artistic and Trampoline disciplines. The partnership between SAGF and JGA will entail two Men’s Artistic Gymnasts, two Trampoline Gymnasts and two coaches being invited to train in Japan twice a year until 2020 at JGA’s expense.
JGA will also send Japanese Men’s Artistic and Trampoline coaches to South Africa two or three times a year until 2020 to help create a development plan to improve the standard of South African high performance gymnasts.
Mr Watanabe and SAGF management also had the opportunity to meet SASCOC President, Gideon Sam. Mr Watanabe promised that JGA and SAGF will work together to realise the goal of Gymnastics winning medals at the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games. JGA has pledged support to SAGF for the next six years, including this year, with the aim of realising this goal.
Mr Watanabe announced Japan’s support when he addressed the SAGF meeting in Johannesburg.
Picture shows SAGF’s Tseko Mogotsi (Chief Operating Officer), Jerry Masia (President), Elizabeth Cameron-Smith (Secretary-General), SASCOC President Gideon Sam and Morinari Watanabe (JGA Secretary-General) at Olympic House.