After an exciting week full of breathtaking performances, cross-cultural displays and colourful costumes, 800 British gymnasts have arrived home after an incredible seven days of gymnastics in Dornbirn at World Gymnaestrada.
Over 18,000 participants from a record number of 62 countries took part in this year’s event including 30 British Gymnastics clubs part of the British delegation.
The British team started the week performing their large group display on Monday and Tuesday in the Casino Stadium. Split into four colour groups, the team performed four different routines before coming together at the end for a large unified display. Wendy Lucas from Hamilton GC, Vicky Ongley from Allstarz, Cherie Skeats from Esprit, Sarah Welch from Bromley Valley and Jess Nicholson from Leeds Gymnastics Club all came together to choreograph the performance.
Later on Tuesday, Great Britain’s gymnasts joined Australia, Fiji and Tonga for a special evening in Rankweil to perform routines from different eras in time. Read the full story.
After bad weather delayed proceedings at the beginning of the event, all the Gymnaestrada participants came together at the Birkinweise Stadium on Wednesday for the re-scheduled Opening Ceremony. Despite the three day delay, the afternoon’s extravaganza created an electric atmosphere as the teams paraded through the stadium before the host’s, Austria, put on a series of dazzling displays to showcase Gymnaestrada.
The Opening Ceremony was followed by the Dornbirn Special, a spectacular group performance involving a number of countries and included seven clubs representing Great Britain: Leeds Gymnastics Club, Trix Academy, Ilkley GC, Irvine Bay GC, Goole GC, Diamonds and Dynamite GC.
Throughout the week all of the clubs’ part of the British team travelled across Dornbirn to perform their own routines in front of large crowds on city stages and in the Trade Exhibition Hall where all the countries came together.
The week’s event was capped off by the amazing FIG Gala evening on Friday and the Closing Ceremony on Saturday which included the involvement of six British Gymnastics clubs in the World Team performance – Saltaire GC, Meridian GC, Astro Gymnastics, Esprit, Epping GC and L&G Acrobatics GC.
Summing up the event, Gemma Barton, Head of the British delegation said; “We have had an incredible week out here in Dornbirn. It has been a memorable experience for our gymnasts who have showcased fantastic displays for the rest of the world to admire whilst exhibiting exemplary behaviour throughout their trip.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who have been looking after our teams and making us all feel very welcome. I would also like to thank all of our team leaders, coaches, club officials and parents for whom without them this trip, and this experience for the gymnasts, would not be possible.”
A gymnast from Epping Gymnastics Club added; “It has been amazing being out here with the rest of my team and seeing lots of other gymnasts from around the world. Gymnaestrada is a great chance to experience new cultures and see how other teams perform.
“Many of us in our club have been together since we were five years-old so to come here and to put on a show together after years and years of performing is really special. It has been a fantastic experience for us.”
Great Britain’s participating clubs:
Abbey Gymnastics C.I.C
Aerial Gymnastics Academy
Bromley Valley Gymnastics
Everton Park GC
Goole Gymnastics Club
Ilkley Gym Club
Inspired Gymnastics Academy
Irvine Bay GC
L&G Acrobatics GC
Leeds Gymnastics Club
Meridian Gym Club
Rotherham Sports Acro Club
Saltaire Gym Club
Sherburn Community GC
The Wire Gymnastics Club