Doha (QAT) AGU Office, September 30, 2016: The Yellow Sea port city of Qingdao, China, was decked out with flags for the 2016 Asian Gymnaestrada, a five day Gymnastics for All festival that enlivened the metropolis from September 20-24.
More than 10,000 gymnasts from seven federations – Australia, China, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Malaysia – came together for the fifth edition of the Asian Gymnaestrada. In addition to an outdoor opening ceremony attended by all participants, the programme featured traditional group performances, a rich and diverse Gymnastics gala, yoga activities and an Aerobic Dance competition.
“During the opening ceremony, all gymnasts performed together and it created a friendly start to the event,” said Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist, President of the FIG Gymnastics for All Committee, which oversees the World Gymnaestrada. “The gala was a very special experience, both for the performing gymnasts as for the 12,000 people in the audience. With high quality sound and light, we enjoyed a fantastic show with selected Gymnastics and Dance groups and World champions from Aerobic and Acrobatic Gymnastics. As at the opening ceremony, the gala ended with everyone dancing together.”
Gymnastics for All is on the rise in China, with clubs focused on gymnastics for fun and fitness springing up in several cities. Qingdao, the first Chinese city to host an Asian Gymnaestrada, hopes to host more Gymnastics for All events in the future and increase the number of federations who attend, Sikkens Ahlquist said.
“We saw some very interesting performances and really hope that we in the future will see some of these groups performing at the World Gym for Life Challenge in Norway in 2017 or at the World Gymnaestrada in Dornbirn, Austria in 2019,” she added.
The opportunities and challenges of developing Gymnastics was the main topic of a summit forum held during the event. Presenters included Sikkens Ahlquist, Dr. Luo Chaoyi, President of the Chinese Gymnastics Federation, Araki Tatsuo, President of the Asian Gymnastics Union’s Gymnastics for All Committee, Qingdao organiser Zhang Ying and Wang You Ping.


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