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This is the World Gym for Life Challenge!

Publication date : 25/07/2017

For four days from tomorrow, over 2,000 gymnasts from all over the world will participate in the King Harald’s World Gym for Life Challenge at the Oslofjord Convention Center in Vestfold, Norway. What is this event about and how does it work? We have compiled the most important facts and figures about this unique Gymnastics for All event.

Performance at the Oslofjord Convention Center

What is the World Gym for Life Challenge?

The World Gym for Life Challenge is an international contest for Gymnastics groups. It is a Gymnastics for All event held every four years, with participation open to everybody, regardless of gender, age, culture or ability.

This is the third edition following the inaugural event in Dornbin (AUT) in 2009 and the South African Challenge in 2013 in Cape Town. With King Harald V of Norway having associated himself officially with this year’s event, its carries the full title King Harald’s World Gym for Life Challenge 2017.

The objectives of the World Gym for Life Challenge are

  • to provide a second FIG event for gymnastic groups;
  • to offer gymnastic groups the opportunity to participate in a contest and have their performance evaluated;
  • to create an interesting and exciting event in Gymnastics for the participants and the audience;
  • to offer interesting workshops for gymnasts and coaches.

Who is participating?

Precisely 2,076 gymnasts from 88 clubs representing a total of 23 countries and all five continents will be taking part in the event in Vestfold. Australia and Azerbaijan are first-timers this year and Germany (360), Switzerland (317) and Norway (240) have the largest delegations.

To learn more about each participating group, connect to our event page.

What’s on the programme?

The event’s official programme includes the opening ceremony, welcome evening, the contest itself, the Gym for Life Gala, workshops, show performances and the closing ceremony. Check it out here!

The main programme is enriched with optional side events for participants and those accompanying them. The Norwegian organisers offer yoga and stand-up paddling sessions, a day trip to the capital Oslo and nearby hiking as interesting leisure activities. Find out more here!

How does the World Gym for Life contest work?

Gymnasts of all ages and from any gymnastic discipline are welcome to participate in the contest. The minimum size of a group is two active gymnasts and there is no maximum number. Performances must be a maximum of 5 minutes, may incorporate any gymnastic element with or without apparatus and may be accompanied by music. A gymnast can perform in only one group performance and groups can choose to participate in one of the four categories, which are divided by type of performance and size:

  • Gymnastics & Dance, small group (20 or less gymnasts)
  • Gymnastics & Dance, large group (21 or more gymnasts)
  • Gymnastics on or with large apparatus, small group (20 or less gymnasts)
  • Gymnastics on or with large apparatus, large group (21 or more gymnast)

Each group performs one routine at the World Gym for Life Challenge contest and is scored by a panel of four experts. The resulting rankings determine which groups receive awards, in “Gold,” “Silver,” and “Bronze” categories. “Gold” ranking is attributed to the 14 highest-scoring groups, while “Silver” and “Bronze” distinctions are split between all other groups. These distinctions are the official results of the contest.

What are the criteria for evaluation?

Each performance at the World Gym for Life Challenge is evaluated based on four criteria:

  • Entertainment value
  • Innovation, originality and variety
  • Technique, quality and safety
  • Overall impression

Evaluators are allowed to give a maximum of five points for each criterion, making 20 points the perfect score for a routine. The scores of the four evaluators are added up, meaning each routine has the potential to score 80 points.

Where can I find start lists and results?

The start lists and official results will be published on the FIG event page and can also be consulted via the FIGymnastics mobile app.

Who wants feedback?

A group of 3-4 persons, each with recognised expertise in different Gymnastics disciplines, artistry, choreography, performance and technique, will during the contest observe all groups. This feedback group is selected by the FIG Gymnastics for All Committee.

After each category of performances, this group will meet with the evaluators to discuss the results and prepare the feedback that will be given to the groups. This feedback is optional and will be given to the groups after the award ceremony. The groups must indicate if they will attend the feedback session.

The FIG Gymnastics for All Committee together with organisers of the World Gym for Life Challenge 2017

The Gala determines the World Group Champion

On the last night of the event, groups that earned “Gold” status during the contest - plus two wildcards - have the privilege of performing again at the World Gym for Life Gala. There, routines are re-evaluated by a bigger group to determine the winner.

At the end of the World Gym for Life Gala, which serves as the contest final, evaluators plus one representative from each participating federation watch the performances and cast ballots for first, second and third places. A vote for first place earns a group 10 points, second 6 points and third 2 points.

Based on these votes, a computer programme generates a final ranking list. The group with the highest number of points is declared the World Group champion and awarded the Bruno Grandi Trophy.

What if there’s a tie?

In the event of a tie at the World Gym for Life Challenge Gala, the following methods will be applied, in the following order, to break it:

  1. The group that receives the most number 1 votes will prevail.
  2. The group with the highest score given by the 8 expert evaluators will prevail.
  3. The group with the highest score given by the federation evaluators will prevail.

Who are the previous World Group Champions?

The title of 2009 World Group Champion went to the Gymnastics Club Piruett of Tallinn (EST) while in 2013 the Bruno Grandi Trophy was awarded to TS Goetzis Zurcaroh (AUT). Neither of the past winners is registered this year.

What about workshops?

A variety of practical workshops focusing on the Gymnastics for All areas like Gymnastics & Dance, fitness, health and working on or with apparatus are offered during the World Gym for Life Challenge.

They are open to all participants (coaches, leaders, observers and gymnasts) and will serve as a way of spreading the values “Fun, Fitness, Fundamentals and Friendships”.

In Vestfold, there will be a Viking workshop, a workshop on "Abilities of gymnasts with disabilities" and a “Join the World Team” workshop, where participants can learn the choreography of the World Team at the World Gymnaestrada 2019 in Dornbirn (AUT).

About show performances

Show performances are an opportunity for the groups to perform more than once during the event and for the organisers to promote the event. All registered groups are invited to participate. Show performances can be between 5-15 minutes and of any type of Gymnastics. They will take place in Tonsberg and Sandefjord following this schedule.

I want more!

Interesting background information, photos and explanatory videos on Gymnastics for All and the World Gym for Life Challenge can also be found on the newly upgraded FIGymnastics mobile app. Download it from the iTunes store or the Google Play store.

And last, but not least: All performances will be live streamed on the event Facebook page.

Enjoy the World Gym for Life Challenge at the ‘Rhythm of the Waves’!