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Friday 6 December 2019
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Bishop’s student tumbles to success as top gymnast

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KAYLEE Fabien-Williams, 11, a Bishop Anstey High School form one student, started her journey in gymnastics at age seven when she was enrolled in Tots and Tumblers Gymnastics Club.

Dedicated to the sport, at times training up to two hours a day, her efforts have not gone unnoticed. This year she was recruited to be a member of the TT National Gymnastics Team.

Success came quickly as she placed second at the 2019 Caribbean Gymnastics Championships, held in TT, in the level three category. She also placed first in the TT Gymnastics Federation Invitational Championships and first in the vault of the Caribbean Classic 2019, hosted by Olympia Gymnastics Club.

The Belmont gymnast, in an interview with Newsday Kids, shared her journey as she continues her rise on the gymnastic landscape.

Gymnast Kaylee Fabien-Williams practises for hours to perfect her moves. - Sureash Cholai

Drawn to the sport because of its challenging nature, she said, "I started in primary school and then, when I reached standard two, I went to Tots and Tumblers, and then I just progressed from there.

"I like how the (gymnastic) skills are hard to learn and perform and the satisfaction you get when you land your first skill."

Satisfaction does not come easily though as she practices her moves over and over to perfect her skills and her favourite "kip" move which is done on the uneven bars.

Practice and sacrifice are the ways she knows to become as accomplished as TT gymnast Thema Williams and US and Olympic gymnastic powerhouse Simone Biles.

Kaylee Fabien-Williams dreams of being a world champion gymnast. - Sureash Cholai

She has already met Williams and described the starstruck moment.

"I did not know what to say when I met her but she encouraged me to never give up."

She now hopes to meet and ask Biles for advice on how to become a world-renowned gymnast.

Fabien-Williams pursues other areas with the same dedication.

A former Bishop Anstey Junior School student, she placed in the top 200 of this year's Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Examination.

"I was just speechless. I went to Five Islands Park to celebrate. I really just tried to keep it to myself and not to show off," she said.

At school her favourite subjects are maths and English A.

"I like math because there are complicated sums that you can work out and it's about the satisfaction of when your figure out the problems. I like writing essays because you get to express yourself."

To maintain a balance between work and play, however, she is busy making new friends at school and loves to sing calypso. In 2014 and 2015 she entered the National Junior Calypso Competition.

Bishop Anstey High School student Kaylee Fabien-Williams was among the top 200 SEA students for 2019. - Sureash Cholai

"I like calypso music because they are from older times and I like listening to older music."

Asked what is her favourite calypso, she said there are too many to choose from.

In the end, she wants to help others and give back as much as she has received.

Knowing that being a gymnast will give her a public platform, she said, "I will go to different communities and help children who did not have the opportunity to go to school."

This goal is inspired by her parents, Pearland Fabien and Keith Williams, who she said have dedicated their lives to her success.

Her advice to other children, "Keep working hard. Don't matter how hard things get, keep trying."

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