STARS RAISING STARS
Recording artiste Ce'cile and former dancer Keiva Di Diva are passing down their legacy of stardom to their daughters, Christiyana Martin and Destiny Chung, respectively, who have been excelling at gymnastics.
In an effort to ensure that their daughters get the best upbringing and develop as gymnasts, both made different sacrifices to their career in entertainment, but used their experience in the industry to teach valuable lessons to their daughters.
"I taught her she needed to love whatever she does. Gymnastics was her idea and her dream just like how music is mine," Ce'cile said.
"(I tell her to) be professional, always be on time, take your job seriously- show love, show respect, gratitude and learn to help when you can," Keiva said.
Both mothers said in order to show their full support in gymnastics they attend every competition, attend training sessions and are their daughters' biggest fans. They said seeing their daughters excel at the sport makes them proud.
"I know she takes the sport very seriously, so for me to watch my child compete is just a joy," Keiva stated. "When you give up your career for your child and then watch her come back around to make your soul and spirit happy, you know you never gave up your career in vain."
"(I'm) always proud, always amazed," Ce'cile said.
The mothers said they have good expectations for their children in gymnastics as both Christiyana and Destiny, at nine and 11, respectively, have already had some achievements in the early stages of their sporting careers.
"I allow her to make her own goals," Ce'cile stated. "She has already won two gold and two bronze for Jamaica, which she did in El Salvador in October 2021. That for me was amazing. I cried seeing her with the flag walking on that podium."
"She has achieved a lot so far and we are going to the Olympics - (I) claim it and believe it!" Keiva exclaimed.
Tristan Hall, who coaches both girls at Nishida's Gymnastics, also has great expectations for the future of the girls as gymnasts as he said they show great potential for the sport as they have the drive and physical ability to do well.
"As long as that dedication and drive is kept as well as them staying major injury-free, I am expecting them to do great at the upcoming meet and throughout the sport (and) later on make some of the bigger games such as the Pan American Games, World Championships, or even the Olympics," Hall said.
Although both mothers are excited about the potential of their daughters' gymnastic careers, they said education is important too and try to establish a balance between academics and sports.
"Being a gymnast and going to school is very hard because when a lot of children are at home my daughter has to be in the gym," Keiva said. "When she doesn't have gym, I ensure she does her book work and does extra lessons. My daughter is always in school (and) only absent when she has competitions."
"Gymnastics is very demanding and most kids who do this on a competitive level do home school," Ce'cile mentioned. "She also has to find time to be a kid. It is very hard, but so is life. This teaches her discipline, which she can transfer to the real world I hope."
Another challenge faced by the two is trying to keep up with the expenses of the sport. But through different means they said they keep up with it for the benefit of their daughters.
They said they are aware that other parents and gymnasiums face similar financial challenges so they are calling for more financial assistance to be given to the sport from the private and public sector, to help further develop the sport locally so that more Jamaicans can represent the island at major sporting events such as the Olympics.