Thursday, 4 December 2014

Masterclass In Session: Rhythmic Gymnastics With Khaw Choon Ean

Rhythmic gymnastics or gimrama, as it is popularly known as in Malaysia, is an activity many parents send their daughters to. Hardly surprising, as it promotes strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, agility, poise and, perhaps most importantly, confidence.

But behind the fancy costumes and mesmerising dance routines is sweat, tears and sometimes blood as rhythmic gymnasts put themselves through countless hours of gruelling training regimes.

Ambitious parents might also be caught off guard by the amount of time, effort and money they have to spend on their daughters' pursuit of that elusive perfect ten.

"Children need their parents' help in finding a good centre and coach," writes Khaw Choon Ean, author of the new guide to rhythmic gymnastics published by MPH Group Publishing.

"Parents have to find the time to accompany the children to their training sessions," she adds. "[They also] have to find the resources to finance the training such as the fees, apparatus and leotards to start them on the sport."

Khaw’s journey in gymnastics parallels the story of rhythmic gymnastics in this country. In her more than four decades in the sport, she has been an official, judge, gymnastics club owner and, in her youth, a gymnast herself.

She is among a select number of pioneers who took something only showcased during National Day parades and grew it into a medal-winning powerhouse in the international sports arena.

Now, comes Kah Choon Ean's Guide to Rhythmic Gymnastics, another contribution of hers to the sport she pretty much grew up with. Arguably, few in Malaysia are qualified to write a book like it.

From a brief history of the sport in Malaysia, Khaw goes on to describe the attributes of the winning gymnast, before guiding readers through the types of apparatus and their use, the training programme, the judging process, dietary requirements, treatment of injuries, cultivating a winning mindset, and more. A list of training venues and gymnastics clubs is also provided, along with contact information.

"After reading this book, the sport of rhythmic gymnastics will likely captivate you but you will go into it with an informed perspective, whether as a parent, gymnast, official or spectator," assures Khaw.

Khaw Choon Ean's Guide to Rhythmic Gymnastics
Khaw Choon Ean
MPH Group Publishing
180 pages
ISBN: 978-967-415-262-8

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