14 years after our first talent-identification project in 1996, it is encouraging and motivating to see the difference gymnastics has made in the lives of 3 girls.

Stella Vundla
13 years old, started gyming when she was 7 as a walk in from the Philippi east area. She attends school in Mitchell’s Plain and stays in Philippi.  Stella started off in the recreational group training once a week for an hour. She then started coming to watch the more advanced girls and playing on the trampoline. We then saw an improvement in her gymnastics and in 2010 she was selected for the WP team winning the Level 2 10/over section. In 2012 she was selected for the WP team to compete at the Gym Games in Pretoria. She performed extremely well in the Level 5 18& under section.
Stella’s sister Natasha is also a gymnasts and currently in our High Performance group. Their parents are currently unemployed so the club waivers their fees. Both girls show amazing dedication and we hope to mentor Stella into a coaching role when she is a bit older.

Jamyma Lawess is the fourth of 5 children. Her father passed away a few years ago and her mother is unemployed.  Jamyma currently attends the Western Cape Sports School where she is in Grade 12.  Jamyma was spotted during a talent identification programme in 1999 in Mitchell’s Plain.
Jamyma’s natural gymnastics ability has been carefully developed and nurtured.  Her dedication and discipline have resulted in impressive results over the last few years. Jamyma first represented her Province in 2001 and has been a member of the Western Province and western Cape Gymnastics Teams ever since.
Through her participation in gymnastics, Jamyma has developed valuable life skills. Her life has been enormously enriched; she has had the opportunity to travel to various places within South Africa to compete and train: she has met, and trained with coaches from Australia, America and Russia.
Jamyma’s teacher comments:
“One can learn a lot from Jamyma. She is self confident, soft hearted, hard working and a lovable child. She believes in herself. She has a very competitive nature but is also very humble, even though she has reached great heights in her gymnastics career.”

Jamyma is now a fully qualified Level 1 Judge and Coach.  She currently helps WHPAGO by coaching the younger Talent identification groups and has been called upon many times by the Western Province Gymnastics Association to judge at regional and provincial competitions.
It is noticeable how gymnastics has empowered these young women. They display ambition, determination and perseverance; qualities that participation in gymnastics helped foster. For us, at WHPAGO, it is most rewarding to be able to identify and nurture talent. Even more rewarding is to witness the personal growth that results from participation in such a programme.

Watch this inspirational video on how winners are made.

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