Iowa

Harlem Tumbling Trailblazer ZaQuae Carter Bound For World Age Group Competition

Harlem’s ZaQuae Carter, who represents the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation (WHGF).

He also represents CAVU Trampoline & Tumbling in New Jersey with renowned trainer Roger Walker and will showcase his outstanding talents internationally at the 29th Federation International Gymnastic (FIG) World Age Group Competition, November 23-26, 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria. prove.

“I’m excited because this is something new for me and it will be my first experience going out of the country,” said Carter, a 15-year-old junior at A Phillip Randolph High School. “I’m pretty excited and ready for it.”

This year Carter has performed very well in national competitions.

Last summer, he finished second in the junior class in tumbling at the 2022 USA Gymnastics Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. He also placed fourth and fifth in the junior tumbling class at the Elite Challenge in Irving, Texas, and the Winter Classic Invitational in Daytona Beach, Florida, respectively.

In June 2021, he won the national championship in the men’s 15-and-over tumbling division at the USA Gymnastics Championships in St. Louis. In his first participation in the national event, Carter surpassed 13 athletes in his division.

Please click HERE to watch Carter perform during the 2022 USA Gymnastics Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Carter has been involved in tumbling since the age of seven and trains at the Harlem Children’s Zone with USA Hall of Famer Wendy Hilliard and her Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation. Today he trains primarily at CAVU with Coach Walker, a former world champion who began training the top WHGF athletes due to the COVID closure of the WHGF facility in Harlem.

What is his secret of success?

“I train four days a week (five in the summer),” Carter said. “So for any younger people who want to do my sport or any sport in general, all you have to do is focus on it and never give up. You have to keep going, even in hard times.

“You still have to assert yourself and persevere.”

Currently, Wendy and her instructors provide weekly gymnastics to over 350 children ages 3 to 17 at the Harlem Children Zone Armory.

“We are very excited for ZaQuae,” said Wendy Hilliard. “Partnering with Harlem’s Children Zone has given us the opportunity to enable the youth in our community to reach the highest level in gymnastics.

“ZaQuae is a great example of this. He has worked very hard and is very talented. We are delighted that he is competing at the World Age Group Championships in Bulgaria.”

On February 24-26, the WHGF is hosting the Harlem Gymnastics Invitational at the Harlem Armory.

Last year the WHGF celebrated its 25th anniversary in New York Cityth Anniversary. WHGF is headquartered in Harlem with a location in Hilliard’s hometown of Detroit, which opened in 2016. Since its inception, WHGF has provided FREE and low-cost gymnastics to underserved communities and has served nearly 25,000 urban youth to date.

WENDY HILLIARD and WHGF

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Wendy began gymnastics at age 12. She trained at the Detroit Recreation Department with coaches from the former Soviet Union. She was the first black athlete to represent the United States in international rhythmic gymnastics competitions and competed in three world championships. In 2008 she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Following her competitive and award-winning experience as a world-class athlete and coach, Wendy recognized the lack of gymnastics opportunities among urban youth, which inspired her to found the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation in Harlem, New York in 1996 and expand to Detroit in 2016.

Also See: Wendy Hilliard Talks Engagement on The Danny Tisdale Show (Podcast)

Today, the foundation serves urban youth ages 3 to 17, helping improve their physical and mental health and offering various programs focused on health and nutrition, sports safety for job placements, public speaking, and assistance with public school admissions focus in NYC. At the WHGF, young gymnasts learn about time management, responsibility, teamwork, leadership and sustainable health habits.

Over the years, the WHGF has produced top athletes and competitive gymnasts who have taken to the national and international stage. BJ Mensah from Harlem competed in the 2021 World Age Group Championships in Azerbaijan. Tenth grader Aries Wickham has emerged as one of the top young rhythmic gymnasts in the country. In July 2022, she became the first Harlem athlete to represent the United States in Israel at the Maccabiah Games, the prestigious sporting event open to Jewish athletes from around the world and all Israeli citizens regardless of religion. The current head coach of the WHGF, Alexis Page, was a three-time member of the United States Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team and an international gold medalist. Alexis Page joined the WHGF Foundation in 2003 and began teaching in 2012 to inspire young gymnasts to chase their dreams as she did. Also, Niahlah Hope trained at WHGF from 2002 to 2010 and is now a professional Hollywood stunt double, including in film. Black Pantherwhile Olivia Boisson trained on the WHGF rhythmic gymnastics team and is now a professional dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Visit https://www.wendyhilliard.org/ for more information. Visit the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube.

Photo credit: In June 2022, ZaQuae Carter secured a spot on the junior national team at the USA Gymnastics Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo courtesy of WHGF

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