Nishida's Gymnastics & Fitness Center is sending an eight-member boys team, including three newcomers, to the 2012 Sand Dollar/Whitlow Gymnastics Invitational which will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, especially the Jostens Center and HP Field House at Lake Buena Vista, in Florida.
Five members of the team are Level Nine, the second highest in USA Gymnastics before moving on to elite, and they comprise Nicholas Tai, Jamin Melbourne, Jiovannua Jackson, Daniel Williams and Shacoy Bennett. Shane Williams, Justin Watts and Stario Brown, all aged seven, will be travelling for the first time and they are level four gymnasts.
Fourteen-year-old Williams of Norman Manley High will enter the two-day competition, which begins this morning, as the most gifted gymnasts from Jamaica. He was first in all-around at the Whitlow Invitational in 2011 when he was Level Eight. Williams won the vaulting horse and parallel bars then, and it is hoped that he will rise to the challenge this weekend.
Jackson, also 14, and a student of St Joseph's High, was second in all-around in 2011 at Level Eight. He won on the floor, pommel horse, and high bar.
Sixteen-year-old Melbourne of St George's College was second in all-around in his age category at last year's Whitlow, winning the floor, vault, parallel and high bars.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Tai, the eldest of Jamaica's competitors and a graduate of St George's College, has returned to gymnastics. He won Level Five when he was 10 in 2005 at the Gasparilla Classic in the United States.
Bennett, 13, the youngest of Jamaica's Level Nine gymnasts and student of Jamaica College, will also be travelling for the first time.
Nishida's boys have already taken part in two international competitions — in 2009 and 2011.
The facility's founder and director Shin Nishida said: "We have been winning all the time."
Based at Trevennion Road, Kingston 5 in Cross Road, Nishida said he was searching for another place to train his gymnasts.
"We are looking for a new location for the school as the present location is small. We need a 3,000 sq ft warehouse type building to rent," he said.
On February 25-27, nine girls from Nishida wil take part in the Gasparella Classic at Tropicana Field, in Tampa, Florida.
The girls — aged 10 and under — are Level Four and Three gymnasts from Mona Prep, St Hugh's Prep, St Peter & Paul Prep, Wolmer's Prep, AISK, Immaculate Prep, and Creative Kids.