Grade 9 standout carrying torch for Ifugao gymnasts

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 13, 2018 09:24 PM
Grade 9 standout carrying torch for Ifugao gymnasts
Trisha Nicole Canayan Nayao, 15, is considered as the torchbearer for Ifugao gymnastics. (Photo courtesy of DepEd)

Fifteen year-old Trisha Nicole Canayan Nayao, a Grade 9 student of Don Bosco High School in Poblacion South, Lagawe, Ifugao, dominated the gymnastics event of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) 2018 meet held in Abra last February.

Gymnastics in Ifugao was not as popular as it is today, but through the unwavering commitment and dedication of sports coordinators from the Provincial Government and Schools Division Office of Ifugao, gymnastics evolved into a dynamic and exciting sport that continuously attracts budding athletes. 

The efforts by the gymanstics governing body, as well as the athletes themselves were rewarded by the number of medals for the province of Ifugao in the recently concluded regional meet. Out of the 36 golds it bagged, 16 came from gymnastics. Out of those 16, Trisha owned three.

Trisha brought home a total of six medals for rhythmic gymnastics – three golds for ball, team championship, and individual all-around, and three silvers for hoop, rope, and clubs.

She fell in love with the sport when she was in the first grade, after seeing a rather mystifying routine. 

Its mix of grace, creativeness, and physical demand, pushed her into finally trying the sport herself when she was in third grade.

Her journey wasn't, and still isn't, easy. Considered as one of the brightest gymnastics stars out of Ifugao, Trisha is considered the province's torchbearer.

Because of that, she's constantly challenged in finding balance between sports, and school.

But like any great student athlete, she powers through.

With the help of her family, who always finds time to watch her during competition, Trisha finds the strength. 

To honor her family’s sacrifices, Trisha always goes the extra mile whether in academics or sports. She is consistently included in the honor roll. 

Even when in pain during rehearsals, again, she powers through, and even manages to exude lightheartedness under pressure.

“She knows that she just needs to stay focused and maintain discipline as part of developing and refining her attitude towards what she must achieve,” her coach, Rhodora Buhong, shared.

Because of her hectic training schedules, she misses most school activities, and her academic performance is inevitably put at risk. But Trisha exerts increased efforts to maintain her status as an honor student.

Aside from her family, she gets her strength from her spirituality. 

“He died for us, so I play for Him,” Trisha beamed, acknowledging the role of her faith in her success.

Her faith, and the unwavering support from her family helps the 15-year-old athlete carry the load of Ifugao gymnastics as it slowly fights for respectability. 

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