02 July, 2013 Syukri Bin Anwar The Crocodile 10th Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships 2013 took place over the weekend of 29th and 30th June at the Bishan Sports Hall. Several schools in Singapore sent their participants to compete in this national event at Kinder, Levels and Stages categories. “Today is actually a test for us and not so much of a competition. We were quite nervous because there were a few judges and an audience looking at us as we performed.” Goh Zhao Rong, a 15 year old from Singapore Gymnastics shared. The gymnasts competed either individually or in a team of two to six members. They could choose to manipulate apparatuses such as a ball, rope, hoop, ribbon and clubs during their performances or just perform freehand. Performing with an apparatus counts for higher points as apparatus handling is one of the factors that the judges look for. It is also easier to lose points if the apparatus is not handled well. Gymnasts who choose to perform freehand instead have to perfect their leaps, balances, pirouettes, execution and artistic effect to score well with the judges. “It’s a tough sport and I don’t think everyone can do it. You really need a lot of perseverance and train really hard every day. Even if you’re not at training, you still need to stretch at home every day so that you will be flexible enough to do the routines,” explained Edlyn Ho from Singapore Gymnastics as she was resting after her stunning group routine. Parents also play a key role in their children’s development as a gymnast. Karen Ang, parent of nine year old daughter, Kathryn, was worried about how gymnastics would affect her daughter’s performance in school. But Karen saw the love her child had for the sport and struck a balance between both. “As a proud parent, I’m here to support her today.” Most of the girls in the Championship walked away with medals. This was possible because of the number of categories they had participated in. Even if some of them did not managed to clinch any medals, they still walked away with new friendships forged with gymnasts from other schools.