LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, December 5, 2013: The authorities of the Austrian City of Götzis have awarded Club Zurcaroh with the Gold Medal of Recognition for their fantastic results last July in Cape Town (RSA), where the group carried the day at the second edition of the World Gym for Life Challenge.
The event, which resembles a gymnastics clubs world championship, brought together 70 of the best groups from all over the world. From among those exercises evaluated by experts with the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Götzis stood out and was given the unanimous vote. The Bruno Grandi Trophy, namesake of the current FIG President, was awarded to Zurcaroh.
The mayor of Götzis, Werner Huber, and distinguished guests of the city of Vorarlberg paid a meaningful tribute to their gymnasts, recalling that their city will henceforth be known throughout the world, and that every one of them looks forward to participating in the 2015 World Gymnaestrada in Helsinki (FIN).
The Obman Sportgemeinschaft, Mr Walter Joschika, presented the World of Gymnastics magazine with a report of the event in Cape Town, and a poster of the Götzis group.
FIG Executive Committee Official News
by Mr André F. GUEISBUHLER, FIG Secretary General
LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, November 28, 2013: The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) publishes the main decisions taken by its Executive Committee during its scheduled meeting, November 21 - 22, 2013, at the federation's head office in Lausanne (SUI).
- Due to a natural disaster that struck the Philippines, the FIG Foundation Council will consider bringing aid to the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines;
- Said Foundation Council has confirmed the allocation of scholarships. A total of US$ 60,000 is available;
- The President informed that the new Athletes’ Commission is now complete, and will meet in Lausanne on January 24, 2014 to elect a President. It is made up of:
Elisabeth Tweddle MBE
Aldrin Rodriguez Garcia
- The FIG President met with a delegation from Australia and New Zealand to discuss the possible founding of a Continental Union of Oceania (OCE);
- The Executive Committee has decided to study the restructuring its Olympic contingent for Rhythmic Gymnastics, bringing from 6 to 5 the number of gymnasts in a group, which would allow for 14 instead of 12 groups to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro;
- The Executive unanimously decided to revamp the entire IRCOS system. A 2.45 million CHF wallet is allocated for the project over an 8-year period;
- The Executive took note of the Central African Gymnastics Federation’s (CAF) candidacy for the status of associated federation, as well as the readmission of Sudan (SUD) as an affiliated federation. These two points remain to be confirmed by the FIG Council in May 2014 in Kuwait City (KUW), and by the General Assembly in Tashkent (UZB) in October 2014;
- The “World Class Gymnasts” regulation has been extended to include the Aerobic Dance and Aerobic Step categories. Results from the 2013 World Games in Cali (COL) and the 2012 World Championships in Sofia (BUL) will count retroactively;
- The concept of a gift in the “FIG Code of Ethics” has been brought into compliance with the current IOC document. Starting today, all infractions will be brought before the FIG Disciplinary Commission;
- Following the October 2013 Symposium on calendar coordination and the new Olympic qualifying system, the Executive has examined the desired trajectories. A working group will meet in January 2014 to finalise proposals that will then be submitted to the Executive and FIG Council;
- At the close of the three world championships held in 2013, the Medical Commission informed that in terms of accidents, this year showed the lowest number of accidents over the past twenty years;
- From 2011 – 2013, the Medical Commission conducted 950 antidoping tests. Three positive, venial cases were recorded in all (furosemide, cannabis, stimulant);
- The Gymnastics for All Committee, in collaboration with British Gymnastics, will hold a Symposium on gymnastics for the disabled under the non-competitive Gymnastics for All umbrella;
- Organisers of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) have secured the services of Ms Naomi Valenzo (MEX), FIG Women’s Technical Committee Vice-President, for the position of Director of Gymnastics Competitions. The same organisers have confirmed the organisation of a gymnastics Gala;
- The 30th Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships 2014 will be held in Daytona Beach (USA), November 7 - 9;
- The 13th Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships 2014 are slated for June 27 – 29 in Cancun (MEX);
- The 24th Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships 2014 will be held in Levallois (FRA), July 10 - 12;
- Finnish organisers of the 15th World Gymnaestrada in Helsinki report 21,000 registered participants to date;
- Change in nationality:
De JESUS Sophina
HERNANDEZ RECALDE Angel
HERNANDEZ RECALDE Katish
PLUZHNIKOV Konstantin Sergey
- At the close of the 2013 Artistic worlds, the Men’s and Women’s Technical Committees submitted various changes to the codes of points for Executive Committee approval. These modifications will come into force as of May 1, 2014;
- Following the World Games in Cali, the Acrobatic Gymnastics Technical Committee proposed modifications to its code of points, proposals which were accepted by the Executive and which will come into force as of May 1, 2014;
- The Executive gave the Presidential Board the power to accept modifications to the Rhythmic Gymnastics code of points at its January 2014 meeting. These changes will be valid for the 2014 Rhythmic worlds in Izmir (TUR);
- Members reviewed the competitions programme for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio (BRA);
- The Executive approved judge selection criteria for the 2014 YOG;
- The FIG President set up a working group to examine the negotiation and validation procedure for all television and marketing contracts. The working group is composed of Vasily Titov (RUS - President), Morinari Watanabe (JPN) and Georges Guelzec (FRA), Members;
- Members of the Executive modified the Specific Judges’ Rules for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, which will allow some ten judges to obtain a category 1 brevet.
The next FIG Executive Committee meeting will be held at the FIG head office in Lausanne (SUI), February 27 – 28, 2014.
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG /UEG Offices, November 19, 2013: The Slovak Gymnastics Federation has just celebrated its 60th birthday. About 250 people came together to celebrate this occasion in the historical center of Banská Bystrica, in the heart of the country.
Guests of Mr. Jan Novak, President of the National Gymnastics Federation, included Mr. Bruno Grandi (ITA) and Mr. Georges Guelzec (FRA), Presidents of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the European Union (UEG), respectively, who wished to mark this occasion in the gymnastics life of the country with their presence.
Both were delighted to meet Mrs. Vera Čáslavská, now 71 years old, one of the most decorated gymnasts in the history of artistic gymnastics and a real star in her country; she won seven Olympic titles during her illustrous career.
She was also a member of the UEG Women's Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee. The UEG President and the Director, Ms. Kirsi Erofejeff-Engman (FIN), were also pleased to meet Mrs. Lubica Risova, former President of the UEG Women’s Technical Committee. Both are now Honorary Members of the European Union of Gymnastics.
During the official event, different personalities took the floor, including Mr. Dušan Čaplovič, Slovak Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport, Mr. Peter Gogola, Mayor of Banska Bystrica, and Presidents Grandi, Guelzec and Novak, who explained the history of the federation and received the rapt attention of the guests present. Afterwards, guests were treated to performances from groups of local gymnasts.
From left to right : Kirsi Erofejeff-Engman, André F. Gueisbuhler, Bruno Grandi, The Mayor of Banska Bystrica Mr Peter Gogola, Vera Caslavska, Georges Guelzec, Jan Novak. (Picture Andrej Brummer)
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, November 13, 2013: Members of the Mediterranean Gymnastics Confederation (CoMeGym) held their ordinary general assembly in the presence of their President, Dr Michel Léglise (FRA) on October 18-19, 2013, in the Sicilian city of Ragusa (ITA). In his opening address, the President extended wishes for success on behalf of Prof. Bruno Grandi (ITA), the FIG President.
Of the decisions taken by the assembly, it is worth noting organisation of the 1st Mediterranean Junior Championships in Artistic Gymnastics, scheduled to take place in Ragusa on September 4 – 8, 2014. To this end, CoMeGym has designated an organising committee and drawn up a provisional work plan.
The Mediterranean Gymnastics Confederation was founded in 2010 and is recognised by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and Mediterranean Games Association, which counts 23 affiliated federations, unfortunately only a few of whose delegates appear below.
Left to right: Gianfranco Marzolla (ITA), delegate and Executive member of the European Gymnastics Union (UEG); Rosario Cintolo, Director of Sport School in Ragusa, an establishment affiliated to the Italian National Olympic Committee, (CONI); Lamia Sakr (EGY), Director of Development for CoMeGym; Dr Michel Léglise, President of CoMeGym and Vice-President of the FIG; Riccardo Agabio, President of the Italian Gymnastics Federation; Cristina Casentini, Vice-President of CoMeGym and member of the UEG Executive Committee; Roberto Desantis (MLT) and Snezana Lakicevic (SRB), members of a CoMeGym Executive Board.
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Head Office, November 06, 2013: With 28 participants from 11 FIG Member Federations, the two upcoming Gymnastics for All (GfA) events where presented at the course in Singapore.
The FIG GfA Committee presented the background and the regulation for the World Gymnaestrada and the World Gym for Life Challenge. The participants also got some practical ideas on choreography and how to prepare for participation.
Both Local Organising Committees where represented and Ms Bodil Mickels from Finland and Ms Lise Mandal from Norway could give detailed information about the events.
The participants which many of them never attended an international GfA event showed great interest and we hope to welcome them with teams in Helsinki (FIN) 2015 and in Vestfold (NOR) 2017.
After presenting the International Gymnastics for All course, observing a joyful Asian Gymnaestrada, the GfA committee stayed for a committee meeting in Singapore November 4-6, 2013, chaired by President Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist (SWE).
The main topics was planning the 2014 Colloquium and preparing for the two events, World Gymnaestrada 2015 and World Gym for Life Challenge 2017.
The committee was also discussing the strategic planning of having more FIG Member Federations to take part in our events and what actions to take in that manner. We also looked at the possibility to publish more resources online for developing Federations to download.
Singapore Gymnastics Federations had everything organized in the best way and the committee congratulated President Hwee Cheng Goh for perfect organization of the course, Asian Gymnaestrada and the committee meeting. gfa/msa.
Antwerp (BEL) / FIG Office, 4 October 2013 : Jani Tanskanen (FIN), incumbent President and Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) will represent respectively the male and female gymnasts within the Athletes’ Commission of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for the period 2013 – 2016. It was thus decided yesterday and today by the gymnasts who are currently participating in the 44th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, taking place in Antwerp (BEL).
From the left: Wolfgang Willam (EC Member), Prof. Bruno Grandi (FIG President), Jani Tanskanen (MAG representative), Steve Butcher (MTC President), André F. Gueisbuhler (FIG Secr. Gen.).
The new Commission
Recently elected representatives from Rhythmic, Aerobic and Acrobatic gymnastics respectively, Lioubou Charkashina (BLR), Aldrin Rodriguez (MEX) and Ayla Ahmadova (AZE) form the Athletes’ Commission which will be completed by the representative from Trampoline who will be elected in November this year, during the 29th World Championships of the discipline, in Sofia (BUL). Today only one candidate has been registered, Nuno Merino from Portugal. The new Commission will then meet all together to elect its President.
From the left: Slava Corn (FIG vice-President), Prof. Bruno Grandi (FIG President), Elisabeth Tweddle (WAG representative), Nellie Kim (WTC President).
The members of the Athletes’ Commission are also members of their respective Technical Committees, with voting rights. The same applies for the President who serves on the Executive Committee and the FIG Board. This body was created in 1999, during the Extraordinary Congress of the Federation in Tianjin (CHN).
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, September 27, 2013: As a direct result of the International Gymnastics Federation’s (FIG) Development Fund, Zone 2 countries in Africa have benefited from the completion of three projects.
A premiere Aerobic training camp was held In Pointe-Noire (CGO), while the Sports Centre in Thiès, Senegal, again opened its doors to camps in Artistic and Trampoline.
Financed by the FIG, stages target coaches and athletes in Benin, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Congo, Ethiopia and Senegal.
According to experts, the technical level is definitely improving. FIG expert for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Jacques Renson (BEL) says that, “coaches have a good working knowledge but stagnate at a basic level. This week, I wanted to give them insight on training, planning, technical and theoretical content. I feel a huge motivation on their part, coupled with a desire to learn and improve. But in order to really advance, they need to be more rigorous with pre-training planning. With regard to the gymnasts, they show good coordination, and a strong ability to adapt to directives.”
Josée Cyr (CAN), FIG expert for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, pointed out that, “These gymnasts are beginners. They have little motor experience yet I was surprised to see rapid progression in only one week. In contrast to my first visit in 2009, I feel they are now better prepared to face a challenge and move out of their comfort zones.”
At the close of the Thiès camp, a tournament was organised under the direction of the President of the National Committee for the Promotion of Gymnastics in Senegal, Albertine Gonçalvez. For gymnasts from Benin, the competition was a premiere event complete with the usual thrill and stress that the reality of a premiere competition brings with it. Keep in mind that for these gymnasts, training takes place at home, on a mat-less floor!
Oriented toward training and education, the African campaign was run under the care of African Gymnastics Union President, Ali Zaater of Algeria, who was accompanied by FIG Secretary General Nicolas Buompane, appointed for this event, and his co-worker Olivia Bille Peña.
Everyone took this opportunity to thank the Senegalese authorities and Ms Albertine Gonçalves, the country’s first gymnast and a well-known figure in national sports, who was awarded in 2006 the “Women and Sport” Trophy by the International Olympic Committee for her life work.
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, September 18, 2013: With the close of its annual general assembly in the capital city of Amman on August 31, 2013, the Jordan Gymnastics Federation elected new governing authorities.
An elective assembly appointed a new board consisting of Her Royal Highness Princess Rahmabint El Hassan, President, Nuha Hattar, Secretary General, and members Engineer Saleh Ghwari, Dr Rashad Zoubi, Mr Waleed Alaskr, Mr Adel Odeh and Ms Rania Omaish. The election was held in the presence of the National Olympic Committee members invited to supervise the voting process.
The assembly statutorily approved various submissions, such as the 2012 financial and administrative report, minutes from the last assembly and a project plan for 2013.
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, August 7, 2013: Following the discovery of irregularities during the MAG judges’ course in Bucharest (ROU) on February 11-13, 2013, and the resulting commencement of disciplinary proceedings on 24 May 2013 FIG Disciplinary Commission has now finalised its decision.
All of the results obtained by the judge, Mr Dragos Birzu (ROU) are hereby revoked. As a result, Mr Birzu will be required to complete the course again and resit the examination in order to renew his brevet.
Similarly, the MAG expert, Mr Istvan Karacsony (HUN) has been suspended from participation in all FIG events until 31 December 2014. Moreover, his title of Honorary Member of the FIG has been rescinded.
In accordance with current procedure, the individuals in question shall have the right to appeal to the FIG Appeals Tribunal within 21 days of notification of this ruling.
USA Gymnastics announces first Global Ambassador Program recipients
(from USA Gymnastics Media Office)
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, Indianapolis (USA), Aug. 6, 2013 – USA Gymnastics announced today that Bermuda, Denmark, Panama and South Africa will receive support through the Global Ambassador Program, which was announced in 2012 and is designed to assist countries with the development of gymnastics worldwide.
“USA Gymnastics received a number of quality requests, and we are going to work to build this program over time,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "These four countries had well-defined programs and needs that we felt could have an immediate impact on their athlete development pipelines. And, each will help provide examples of how we can aid other countries. We are confident this is a great start for this program, and look forward to working with other countries on how we can assist them as well.”
In partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), AAI and the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), the USA Gymnastics Global Ambassador Program will provide U.S. athletes and coaches as consultants on a request basis to developing countries to stimulate the growth of the sport and athlete development at many levels. AAI, a long-time partner of USA Gymnastics, will assist with equipment requests for approved Global Ambassador Program partners. Developing countries are those that are not yet competing in the World Championships on a frequent basis and/or those that could use help promoting the sport to achieve more awareness and growth.
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, August 05, 2013: The recent World Gym For Life Challenge held in Cape Town (RSA) shed light on one of Gymnastics for All’s primary objectives: to give everyone an opportunity to get out on the mat and show off their talent - and their fear – and to share in the emotion and experience that this event produces.
Such was likely the case for the 1,384 participants present, especially a group of young gymnasts from Johannesburg.
From the Golden Lions Club – the same label carried by the famous rugby club in XV - these gymnasts have been part of the gymnastic landscape since the club’s creation 25 years ago. Originally oriented toward traditional gymnastics, the club turned its attention to Acrobatic in 2000. They quickly evolved; and in 2004, Women’s Pair Monique Steglenaet and Jolien Dreyr took the Gold medal at the international Age Group competitions in Liévin (FRA)!
Despite encouraging results, the club faces recurring financial issues that slow development and stunt the hopes of its members. Current resources are insufficient to finance outside assistance. Six years ago, Natalia Prokopchik, member of the Belarus national team, travelled to Minsk to support the club pro bono.
Her example is one we’d like to see repeated often; the gymnasts agree!
Ah that gymnastics can be beautiful when imagination, expressiveness, sensuality guide the body in motion!
Natural gymnastics, unashamedly, without constraints, with in mind just want to do well and if possible ... better than the neighbor! It is the spirit of the Challenge!
South African organizers of the SAGF were successful in their “coup” in all domains. In the opinion of the gymnasts themselves, will long be remembered Cape Town!
Thank you the SAGF !
….and the winner is...
The 16 teams involved have shown great enthusiasm and as offering the best of themselves. Impressive demonstration of the Norwegian Fredrikstad (61 gymnasts), the acrobatics of Swiss Mendrisio, touching the delivery of U.S. Chattooga group, the grace of gymnasts Tallinn, freshness Golden Lions in South Africa. Each gymnast committed showed talent as he could and wowed the nearly 4,000 spectators.
Ultimately, it is the Gymnastics Club TS Goetzis Zurcaroh (AUT) that prevails and in a beautiful way. Their impressive acrobatics have won both the public delegations and evaluators.
The Bruno Grandi Trophy will be Austrian for the next fours years!
All the Gymnastcs Community is now looking forward to meeting together in 2017, in Vestfold, in NOrway!
The hall was full to bursting for an exciting part of this second World Gym For Life Challenge! On the playbill: an opening gala orchestrated by the South African Gymnastics Federation.
For 90 minutes, gymnastics clubs from the provinces delivered an uninterrupted flow of performances depicting daily life and presentations of wild fauna, with a nod to ecology by a few hundred enthusiastic gymnasts. The real-life fresco was set against a sound mat of music, in which we heard a lion roar from the depths of the jungle, the rebellious bird of Carmen and even the bells of Brother John!
The evening was an extension of the opening ceremony show, with a unique flavour, quality choreography and interpretation by young and old, junior and senior gymnasts.
South Africa has a potential worthy of international participation. The federation invests considerably in training and education, and the first fruit of its policy are evident to all.
The South African evening doubled as a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela, a man who has most certainly shed a few tears over the message of harmony and peace expressed by his gymnasts, bringers of hope.
Cape Town (RSA) / FIG Office, July 10, 2013: Among the countries where gymnastics has known a growing popularity over the past few years, Malaysia is among the leading pack. The Federation has been teaching and developing a veritable gymnastic culture in recent years, due notably to the efforts of its former President, Dr Zakaria Hj Ahmad, who recently retired after 35 years at the head of his institution.
Dr Ahmad was a key player in the development of gymnastics in Malaysia and throughout Asia. He has held numerous posts and is active on various commissions and working groups that pursue awareness among political and sport authorities in the areas of physical education, health and wellness.
Today, the federation reaps the fruit of its labour with regular participation in international FIG events at all levels and across all disciplines. Such is the case for Gymnastics for All and the World Gym for Life Challenge, in which Malaysia aspires to greatness as it comes up against leading players such as Switzerland and the Nordic nations.
Lining up with a new generation.
Yap Lee Peng is a coach. In Cape Town, she’s at the head of two groups from Kuala Lumpur, 16 and 7 gymnasts strong respectively. “This is a first for us and we’re excited about experiencing something so unique. We’ve been here for three days, training hard to familiarize ourselves with this fantastic venue. The Organising Committee has done an exemplary job; the welcome was just perfect.”
From the left: Coach Yap Lee Peng and Ho Sien Ye, parent.
When asked what their objectives are in South Africa, the two clubs answered without hesitating: “The Gold!”
THOUSANDS OF GYMNASTS ON THE DOORSTEP OF HELSINKI!
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, July 10, 2013: In exactly 2 years and 2 days, on July 12, 2015, the Finnish capital of Helsinki will open its doors to the 15th World Gymnaestrada – the biggest event on the calendar of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). To date, organizers report the participation of 34 national federations and 21,121 gymnasts!
And while the number is tentative, it is also extraordinary with a projected final count hovering somewhere around 25,000 – all ready to file into the capital’s well-known Olympic stadium in July 2015.
5,000 was the number at the first edition of the World Gymnaestrada in Rotterdam (NED) in 1953; 19,000 for Lausanne (SUI) in 2011.The record, however, is held by Dornbirn (AUT) with a whopping 22,000 gymnasts in 2007.
Despite the promising numbers, the Gymnastics for All Committee – led by Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist of Sweden – continues to promote the event to countries yet to enjoy such an unforgettable experience. To this end, the Committee will hold a promotional operation in Singapore this fall coined “Join the Gymnaestrada Course”, to which all countries will be invited.
Closer to home, Finnish organisers have invited all 135 FIG affiliated federations to participate in the first informational in situ meeting. Some 50 have already confirmed participation.
The infatuation for the World Gymnaestrada has not let up. With a format that continues to draw people from every generation, a broad scope of expectations is met. When asked why the popular success, the majority of participants admit to caring more about the multicultural experience, exchange, sharing and celebrative atmosphere than anything else. “It’s the experience of a lifetime,” we are often told.
The OVO Gymnastics Club from Finland attending the World Gym For Life Challenge in Cape Town (RSA).
Helsinki is ready to go
The city and country on the whole are ready to welcome gymnasts to a quality lodging and transportation infrastructure. Because Gymnastics for All is so popular in Finland and is a part of the national sporting culture, Finnish Gymnastics Federation and its President, Anne Martikainen, are experts in this business. The Organising Committee – headed up by Kirsti Partanen – will be supported by hundreds of volunteers onsite as well as the patronage of former President of the Finnish Republic, Tarjal Halonen, herself a dedicated gymnastics fan.
Much like the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Belgium and Austria, Finland has consistently participated in the World Gymnaestrada since its premiere edition in 1953. Its success is a sure-fire thing!