The gymnastic federation began the talent hunt programme in August last year across 19 districts in the country where they selected 40 gymnasts, including 17 girls and 23 boys, aged mostly between eight to 12.
The selected gymnasts were brought to the capital on January 7 for the camp. They only had one practice venue at the old NSC building where they had to share the space with at least two or three more groups of players from wrestling and taekwondo.
There were 16 gymnasts from Quantum Cosmo School, including nine boys and seven girls, and the majority of them hail from Chittagong hill-tracts area with the exception of Shamsunnahar Lipi, who is from Sylhet.
Quantam's Lakhing, who came from Ali Kodom upazila, is only seven-eight years old but won the hearts of the instructors for her vibrant presence.
Apart from Quantum school, most of the participants were new to the game. Four girls from Sharkari Shishu Poribar got the opportunity to be in the camp, along with three others from Dhaka, four from Dinajpur and three each from Thakurgaon and Satkhira.
“We identified some gymnasts from the camp who have great talent like Oahai, Prenthoy, Rajib and Lakhing. They need to be nursed properly and have to be in practice on a regular basis. If not, they will be lost in time. We and the NSC have to find a way to nurse and keep them on track,” said gymnastics coach and camp co-ordinator Iqbal Hossain Tuesday.
Iqbal also informed that they will send the four selected players from the camp to an age-level gymnastic tournament in Thailand, scheduled to be held in May this year.