Features

A Celebration of Sports

For 12 years, Graceway Sports Centre has served the sporting community.

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos By Ileana Ravasio, Attimi Photography

Whether a heavily padded hockey player weaving through the hall on roller blades, racket-wielding sportster on the way to a game of tennis, impossibly lithe girl scampering to a gymnastics lesson, or burly body builder lumbering into the gym, any given day at Graceway Sports Centre reflects a colorful cross section of the TCI sporting community. It’s a joyful gathering of people of all ages, shapes, and shades, eager to experience the fun and benefits that sports and exercise offer to all. Welcoming, clean, safe, and well-equipped, the Graceway Sports Centre is the ideal venue to bring together this celebration of sports.

Besides indoor soccer (shown here), Graceway Sports Centre’s huge arena is a venue for indoor ball hockey, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, and badminton.

Besides indoor soccer (shown here), Graceway Sports Centre’s huge arena is a venue for indoor ball hockey, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, and badminton.

It’s hard to believe that the Graceway Sports Center (GSC) will be a dozen years old this year. The large building behind Graceway IGA and its surrounding courts and fields have been richly serving the Providenciales sporting community since September 2003. In recent years, GSC has benefited from a solid management team, excellent staff, and step-by-step revitalization that has made it better than ever. The most recent improvement is the hiring of a new tennis professional who is taking the tennis program to a higher level.

Sports are key to maintaining healthy bodies and minds, increasing self-esteem, enhancing social skills, and fostering positive values such as perseverance and dedication for people of all ages, but especially youth. Prior to 2003, many of Provo’s best sports facilities were “quarantined” within tourist resorts and not available to the community.

Clive Stanbrook was a driving force among a group of investors who, he says, “Conceived and built Graceway Sports Centre to be a facility in which all Island residents could join together for recreation and sporting activities. In particular, the country’s youth will have an international venue in which to develop their skills.” The twelve founders provided the funds for the initial facility, and from the design stages, local talent was used whenever possible to bring the building from groundbreaking to completion in less than a year.

The fitness gym is the Islands’ largest and best-equipped; a cool, clean place to work out.

The fitness gym is the Islands’ largest and best-equipped; a cool, clean place to work out.

Graceway Sports Centre is the largest free-standing steel structure in the Islands, enclosing 24,000 square feet. The fully air conditioned complex includes a custom-lit, international standard indoor basketball court, retractable bleacher seating for 600, and lockers, changing rooms and showers for men and women. The split second level is home to Provo’s largest and best equipped gym and a 2,000 sq. ft. aerobics/dance/martial arts studio. The lower level offers a concession stand, retail outlet for sports equipment and children’s play area, with wireless Internet available throughout.

The main hall can accommodate 300 people and is suitable for a range of sporting activities and private events. (It’s a special favorite for kid’s birthday parties.) Currently it is home to the Provo Hockey League (indoor ball hockey), and a venue for basketball, soccer, volleyball, table tennis, and badminton. Graceway Sports Centre also boasts the Islands’ only squash courts — two official international courts with comfortable air-ride wood flooring, kept air conditioned around the clock.

Graceway Sports Centre’s new tennis professional Juergen Richter coaches a well-received Junior Tennis Academy.

Graceway Sports Centre’s new tennis professional Juergen Richter coaches a well-received Junior Tennis Academy.

Outdoors, the building flanks the Turks & Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) football fields and four professional tennis courts with lights for refreshing night play.

Having been a dedicated member since its inception, I have seen GSC grow and develop, most especially since Adina Ciurar became the marketing and business manager in 2011. A native of Romania, Adina brought to the job extensive experience in business management, some serious fitness skills, and a determination and perseverance to see the center thrive. Under her leadership, the gym membership has grown from 67 members to 300, with the fitness gym doubling its pieces of Cybex equipment to 52, enlarging the functional surface, and gaining a clean, (cool!) well-maintained, and environmentally-conscious aura.

Adina is also a highly skilled personal trainer and group fitness instructor and her friendly smile hides a dogged determination to make you sweat! Weekly fitness classes include step aerobics, tae-bo, cardio intervals, boxercise, yoga, and spinning.

Adina’s husband Paul joined the team in 2012, where he is using his qualifications as a fitness trainer to supervise the gym and his vast experience as a Qwan-Ki-Do black belt to teach martial arts. Here, the AM-DUONG Club offers students of all experience levels the opportunity to learn QWAN KI DO, a mixture of traditional Chinese and Vietnamese Kung Fu. Besides teaching a variety of techniques to his now over 30 students, Paul says his kid’s program uses the art of Kung Fu to teach children respect for self and others, diligence, effort, leadership, and peace-keeping skills. For more information, visit www.qwankido.tc.

I can think of many parents who owe a debt of gratitude to Graceway Sports Centre’s acclaimed Kid’s Camps — held during every major school holiday and the summer. Qualified counselors supervise small groups (7 to 8 kids, divided into ages 5 to 8 and 9 to 12) as they rotate through a six-hour daily program of sporting and non-sporting activities that combine fun and learning in a very safe environment. Activities during the 2014 Summer Camp ranged from basketball, soccer, and volleyball games to scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, squash, and American football. Best of all, you can’t beat the price of $20/day ($15 for additional siblings).

All year long, kids enjoy dance and gymnastics training through the Breaking Free Dance Academy, offering ballet, modern dance, and hip-hop lessons by local dance professional Shara Goldsmith. Yoga classes are offered once a week by TCI’s multi-talented Director of Culture David Bowen and at only $10 per session, they are a steal.

Adina believes Graceway Sports Centre will remain successful because it has a long history of giving back. Besides supporting various charities, GSC offers free access to Provo Primary School students for their Physical Education classes, preferential rates to British West Indies Collegiate students, and allows the International School access to the indoor court at a discounted fee. During January 2012 to December 2014, Adina has led free Boot Camps to help local people get in shape.

Graceway Sports Centre is one of the most healthy, wholesome places on the island. It is filled with the positive energy of people who have a passion for the benefits of fitness and sports. Check it out!

For information on opening hours, memberships, and current activities, visit www.gracewaysports.com or call (649) 442 6348.



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