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2016 Gymnastics for All Colloquium unites federations in Dornbirn

Publication date : 02/06/2016

This year’s Gymnastics for All colloquium took place May 20-22, 2016, in Dornbirn (AUT), host city of the 2019 World Gymnaestrada. Thirty-eight participants representing 24 federations came together to discuss the development and opportunities for displaying Gymnastics for All around the world.

The participants had the opportunity to look back at the history of the World Gymnaestrada in general and discussed in detail the evaluation of the last edition held in Helsinki (FIN) in 2015. After this session the participants were informed of and discussed the newly updated regulations for the event.

Curtis Burger, an internationally recognised Swiss dancer, choreographer, and producer presented the basic guidelines on producing a show, reinforcing the importance of integrating movement, music, theme and emotion to connect the performances with the audience. This “master class” also included a short practical activity with fast-paced movements, where the music and rhythm brought the Gymnastics for All values of “fun and friendship” to the participants.

The 2019 World Gymnaestrada Local Organising Committee invited all national federation representatives to visit the main event venues in the cities of Dornbirn and Bregenz. Everyone was very impressed with the new and updated venues and enthusiastic about the possibilities for their federations to participate in the 2019 World Gymnaestrada 2019 in the Vorarlberg region.

Eight national federations (BEN, CZE, EGT, EST, JPN, POR, SRI, SWE) and the European Gymnastics Union (UEG) had the opportunity to present their organisational methods, programmes and events to the other participants. This was an important moment of sharing  best practices and ideas for development.

The national federations’ representatives also discussed the new ideas incorporated into the  2015 World Gymnaestrada in Helsinki, and expanded on the future and further steps for development of the event.

Representatives from the Norwegian Gymnastics Federation were on hand to present news of the preparations for the 2017 World Gym for Life Challenge.  The unique conditions at the Oslofjord Convention Centre and the Local Organising Committee solutions will be tested at the Norwegian Gym for Life Challenge in June 2016. The Norwegians reinforced the invitation to all national federations to attend the World Gym for Life Challenge, an event sure to be remembered for years to come.

During the scientific session different presentations were made.
The “Helsinki World Gymnaestrada Impact Study,” developed by the Finish Ministry of Culture and Education was presented by Päivi Tamminen (FIN), who represented the 2015 World Gymnaestrada LOC.

The preliminary results of the FIG Gymnastics for All research project developed at the 2015 World Gymnaestrada were presented, bringing some promising data concerning the question “What motivates adults to be participants in the World Gymnaestrada?” This represents an innovative collaboration between the FIG Scientific Commission and the Gymnastics for All Committee, coordinated by Dr. Marco A C Bortoleto (BRA) and Dr. Thomas Heinen (GER).

Dr. Angela Wichmann (GER) finished this session by presenting very interesting results in “Large Group participation at World Gymnaestrada” research developed during the 2011 World Gymnaestrada 2011 in Lausanne and its  follow up edition in Helsinki, highlighting “the specific nature of the community that emerges and develops among the World Gymnaestrada participants.”

Finally, the FIG Gymnastics for All Committee presented the different activities and courses offered in relation to education and promotion of this Gymnastics discipline. The participants then discussed the need for and their wishes about education and development. 

As always, participants were very active and brought many valuable ideas and reflections to the FIG Gymnastics for All committee. The Gymnastics for All committee is already making plans for next year’s colloquium, and will send out the invitation at the beginning of 2017.

Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist, President of the FIG Gymnastics for All Committee