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SA gymnasts out to wow the world in Finland
- Updated: June 25, 2015
In two weeks, an 87-strong team of South African gymnasts heads off to Helsinki, Finland for the 15th World Gymnaestrada next month.
The World Gymnaestrada is a global gymnastics festival, incorporating men and women of all ages and skill levels. Over 20,000 participants from more than 50 different countries will attend the quadrennial event, with this year’s theme being ‘Make the Earth Move!’
The earth will indeed move with over 1000 gymnastic and dance group performances over the duration of the competition from 12-18 July at various indoor and outdoor venues in Helsinki.
The SA team comprises gymnasts and officials from Gauteng, KZN, Northern Cape and the North West. These participants will feature in numerous smaller group performances in the week. In addition to these performances a special one-hour ‘South African Afternoon’ show entitled ‘An Afternoon in Africa’ will be held on 16 July. This show will encompass all South African participants including 22 gymnasts from Zimbabwe and 27 gymnasts from Australia!
‘An Afternoon in Africa’ will highlight the plight of the rhinos and continues as the performers wake up to a brand new day. Through gymnastics and dance, the vibrancy, energy and colours of Africa will be on display at the South African Afternoon.
The ultimate highlight of the week is the FIG Gala Show. The same show will be performed on three occasions, 17 July at 6pm and 9pm and 18 July at 10am. Twenty-eight South Africans will participate in this show alongside 16 other groups from 14 countries.
The South African participants theme is ‘We are Africa’ and comprises rhythmic and acrobatic gymnasts performing with contemporary and pantsula dancers.
Performing as well at the Gala Show will be the 2009 and 2013 World Gym for Life Champions. The World Gym for Life Challenge (a contest) is the sister event to the World Gymnaestrada (a festival), held every four years in-between World Gymnaestradas.
The FIG Gala is set to be a spectacular show, with it being a privilege for our South Africa gymnasts to be on stage with such high calibre company.
The SA team departs on Thursday, 9 July, and will hold a training camp at Kisakallio Sports Centre (the Finnish Aesthetic Gymnastics National Training Centre) on 11 July, before moving to their accommodation for the event.