KOTA KINABALU: Pint-sized Eden Gabrielle Sigar aims big. She wants to win gold at the third World Gym For Life Challenge in Norway next week.
And nothing will hold back the nine-year-old gymnast, a pupil of SK Kolombong, as she moves a step closer to her Olympic dream.
Eden is among 23 gymnasts from Sabah who will be competing in Norway next week, and the group from the Sabah Gymnastics Association left Kota Kinabalu for Kuala Lumpur Saturday before heading to Vestfold, Norway, the next day for the competition.
When met at the Gymnastics Training Centre at the Likas Sports Complex here on Friday, Eden said she was extremely excited though nervous to be travelling far for the competition.
“I hope we can win the gold medal for Malaysia in this competition,” she told an online portal, adding that she hopes to be in the Olympics for the sport when she grows up.
Eden, together with her team members aged between eight and 20 from different schools and districts, will make their debut with the theme “Kaleidoscope of Borneo” in the competition.
It combines gymnastics and dance, while preserving the unique traditional elements of Sabah.
The second of three siblings had taken up gymnastics two years ago when talent scouts saw her potential during a programme in her school.
“I didn’t know I like gymnastics before I was introduced to this sport, but then after training, I realised I love it,” she told the Star.
Eden trains at least three hours per session and four days a week for the competition.
The team’s coach, Christopher Liew Vui Ngee wants to highlight the beautiful concept of the Sabahan culture in the performance.
“I hope that the traditional elements in our dance will stand out and create a different theme from other participating countries,” he added.
It is learnt that participants were required to fund their own trip and expenses to Norway for the competition.
Eden and her mother Missah Michelle Yabis, 42, a Form Six teacher was fortunate to receive some personal funds from Abdul Rahman Dahlan the Kota Belud Member of Parliament on Friday.
Abdul Rahman, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, hopes that the funds would help lessen their burden for the competition and wished them the best of luck.
The contributions were presented by Abdul Rahman’s aide Mohd Nazarul Hizam Ahmad here. Also present was Kadamaian Upko division chief Ewon Benedick.
The 23 gymnasts include Aldwayne Roikit Wellson, Alsandair Roikin Wellson, Elton Nychel Ronny, Avy Rosabel Misek and Nur Fatin Nabila Azhari from SM All Saints, as well as Judrin Claire O’Vrill Syarin, Judrin Eve O’Reall Syarin and Siti Balqis Abd Rahman from SM St Peter Telipok.
Other teammates include Ferdinand Chin Yin Fong and Felicia Chin Mei Ling from Kian Kok Middle School, Karmila Brittany Lee (SM St Francis Convent), Brittany Carolina Yayun and Joshlyne Anne Ubu from SK St Francis Convent KK, Annastasya Kienna Japlin (SJK(C) Yuk Yin, Keningau), Cathryn Mia Lojitan (SJK(C) Hwa Siong Putatan), Carissa Claire LRM Cherles (SK Sri Gaya), Faith Chin Mei San (SJK(C) Shan Tao), Katyana Nefrnity Lee (SJK(C) Chung Hwa KK), Brenna Venita Simonddy (UMS), Lavender Miriam Lee and Eve Clarissa Cassandra LRM Cherles (Politeknik KK) and Abel Tie Xian Hao (Eu Yan Sang).