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Former Olympic champion Nadia Comaneci has stated on Thursday that her project called GymNadia, which has been running for over a year now in the gymnasium at the Ion Tiriac Ice Rink in Otopeni should be multiplied hundreds of times in order to draw children toward sport.

"Among the projects which I have in Europe, I have actually come from Paris, I thought that it is extremely important to come home, see the family and, at the same time, see how my programme here is running. I understand that these children feel very well here and once they come, they don't want to leave. And this was the idea of this programme, for it to be a playground, a gym base where those who have qualities can move forward toward gym clubs, and the others can practice any sport already having this basis. I am proud that this project is one year old, I already have a few children who have been here since the beginning. I understand that this number of children is increasing. It would be nice if we had hundreds of such gymnasiums in the country, where these children can carry out their activity. Because here [in Otopeni] it's not extremely close to everyone. I came up with the programme and the idea, but someone has to take my place and push everything forward," the former Olympic champion said.

Attending Wednesday's debate in Romania's Senate regarding the increase in funding in the Romanian sport, Nadia Comaneci mentioned she hopes the action has the desired effect.

"My conscience is clear now that I have discussed in Parliament. I have been for the first time in Romania's Senate and I said that there is a great need of a financial support for the Romanian sport. I hope that these children, who do sport now and who don't have what they need, continue what we've started. We are behind them, we want to do something for them, now it remains to be seen who is that person who will come out of the box and say: 'Come on, we're starting to do this for sport.' I don't know the judicial situation, but it can be done in Romania, as it is done case elsewhere. It's not something we are asking for ourselves, it is a necessity because it is very, very late," she mentioned.

Nadia Comaneci participated on Thursday, alongside approximately 20 children in a gymnastics initiation class within her project called GymNadia. The event was also attended by her mother, Stefania Comaneci, President of the Tennis Federation Ion Tiriac and former gymnast Diana Bulimar.

The GymNadia initiation in gymnastics and physical education hall is a project of the Tiriac Foundation, in collaboration with the Nadia Comaneci Foundation, intended for children aged between 2 and 6. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Marius Tone; EN - author: Rodica State, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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