The last 16 months of gymnastics have been especially challenging for elite athletes around the world, as they struggle to maintain the demanding schedule required to be an international level gymnast. Zachary Clay has been working 6 days a week to do what it takes to stay on the global stage and defend his reputation as one of Canada’s elite competitors.
This demanding itinerary has both Zachary and his coach Richard Ikeda (former 1996 Olympian) taking on the challenge of visiting Canada, Slovenia, Turkey and Japan over the next 4 months. Following a very rigid Covid Safety Plan, this tour will be like no other, neither Zach or Richard have experienced in their impressive careers. With the dream of competing at the 2020(21) Olympics out of reach due to Covid-19 and access to qualifying competitions, the World Championships are especially important to Zach this year.
In order to assist our competitive program with the costs of international competitions, we have developed a couple of creative, interactive and fun ways for you to support Twisters Gymnastics and the athletes that represent our community! During the 2021-2022 season Zachary Clay, Senior Team Canada, member who has been training under the expertise of 1996 Olympian Gymnast, Richard Ikeda has his sites set on The World Cup and The World Championships!
If you would like to support Twisters Gymnastics and our competitive athletes, please continue to read about “Coins For Clay” and “The Travelling Jersey”. Both of these fundraiser campaigns will go to the direct delivery of Twisters competitive programs including equipment, travel, competitions and more.
Twisters Gymnastics Club is a non-profit gymnastics club that has been providing recreational and competitive gymnastics to children, youth and adults for almost 45 years. Our gym has produced Olympians, World Championship team members and Commonwealth Games amongst the ranks of accomplishments, and currently we are supporting Senior Team Canada Member, Zachary Clay in his pursuit of competing at the World Championships in October 2021.
Due to Covid-19, 25-year-old Zachary’s dreams of competing at the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics in Japan were eliminated due to restrictions that prevented him from attending the Pan American Championships held in Brazil. Competing at the Pan America Championships is what Zach needed to seal his place with Team Canada at the Olympics. Fast forward to what is within his reach: pursuing the World Championships!
6 destinations across the globe including competitions and training camps over 4 months as a member of the national team is part of the process Zach must undergo to qualify for the World Championships. Team Canada covers as many expenses as possible for the National Team; however, one expense that is the responsibility of the athlete is food. For Zach and his coach, 1996 Olympian, Richard Ikeda, a budget of $60 per person, per day will cover 3 square meals, plus healthy snacks to fuel their bodies through travel, strenuous training and competitions.
We want to extend our gratitude to Lyall and his amazing team at Fraser Valley Cresting for designing and supplying these classic jerseys. Each jersey shows our pride in Canada, Liz Carter who founded Twisters in 1977 and two of Twisters incredible athletes and now coach; CLAY & IKEDA. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support with this fundraising initiative.
The Gallery below contains photos of the elite athletes from around the world who have joined in on the adventure and signed the jersey! Just imagine the collection of incredible athletes autographs all collected in one place. Be sure to follow us on social media to discover where the jersey is and who has signed it!
July 5 – 12, 2021 The Jersey’s first stop was in Montreal, Quebec where Zach got to see in person, his Team Canada team mates for the first time this season. Zach was there for qualifying purposes, and many of the Team Canada members were there for a Pre-Olympic orientation and training camp.