Gymnastics in Yemen


December 17-21, Yemen hosted the third of a series of FIG Age Group Programme training camps in the city of Sana’a… The training camp was for MAG only as Yemen does not formally train female gymnasts at this time.

The FIG expert for this camp was once again … Rick McCharles of Canada. … leader for this three-week three-country Age Group Programme Camp tour that featured the participation of 37 coaches from 14 different countries.

These camps are intended to expose as many coaches as possible from the host country to the FIG Age Group Programme so that it will be implemented and understood uniformly. …

read more – Yemen hosts last FIG Education event of 2012


more photos

GAAR ADAMS summed up the situation eloquently in an August 2012 article:

Inside a stuffy, ramshackle warehouse on the northern outskirts of Yemen’s capital, a dozen male gymnasts line up at the end of a tattered vaulting runway. Wedged into a tight corner on the opposite side of the warehouse, the bright red steel of a high-tech Gymnova vaulting table donated by the Japanese Embassy in Sana’a to the barebones Yemen Gymnastics Federation stands in stark contrast to the corrugated metal and cracking cement of the building surrounding it. …

Four years ago, Nashwan al-Harazi did something only four-dozen other people in his country of nearly 30 million people can say – he competed in the Olympic Games. At just 21 years old, not only was Al-Harazi the first Yemeni to compete in gymnastics at the Olympics, but he also did so representing a country with a tradition in the sport barely older than he was. …

“There is no money,” says Ali al-Harazi, Nashwan’s brother …

Pommel Horses and Protestors

Things are a little better now.

The gym is crammed with boys excited to do Gymnastics and the relatively new sport of Tricking.

The level of skill and technique on Pommels, Floor and Vault is surprisingly high. A number of the boys do good two and a half twist on Floor. Twisting forward and backward is strong. Many want to be the NEXT Nashwan.

Coach Jim Holt has some good stories on Nashwan’s incredible story. He identified the 10yr-old boy as “potential” back in 1996.

Click PLAY or watch Nashwan’s Floor on YouTube.

related – IG – Al-Harazi “Still in Shock” Over Wild-Card Olympic Berth (2008)


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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