The international gymnastics festival World Gymnaestrada will leave its mark on the Finnish exercise culture. The event is not only a festival for the gymnastics people, but also for the general public. It offers experiences, excitement and motivates people with an interest in exercise and healthy lifestyle regardless of age, background or activeness.
It is hoped that the biggest event ever organised in Finland in terms of international participation will leave a legacy for other event organisers and sport governing bodies as well, especially in the form of new methods for civic activities and event planning. The organisers estimate that the economic impact of World Gymnaestrada for Helsinki and the metropolitan area is around 30 million euros.
Most of the participants, 17,000 gymnasts, arrive to Helsinki from all over the world. It is estimated that the Gymnaestrada visitors will spend about 27,3 million euros. The nights spent in accommodation by the participants during the seven days of the event correspond to about a third of all nights spent in the Helsinki metropolitan area lodgings on July last year. There will be more than a 10 percent increace in foreign travellers in the metropolitan area.
“We Finns love all kinds of sports. In Finland every second child and every third adult is a member of some sports club. Here in Finland we have long traditions in civil activity, Sport for All and event organising. Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports in our country. I am convinced that the spirit of World Gymnaestrada will spread all over and the event will inspire people to move and fall for gymnastics”, the former President of Finland and the President of the World Gymnaestrada Support Committee Tarja Halonen comment.
Finns are regular participants of the event that has been around since 1953. However, this is the first time it will be hosted in our country. The fact that Finland is hosting shows in the number of Finnish participants. Finland is the largest delegation, bringing almost 4,000 native gymnasts to the festival from over 140 sports clubs. This is the largest amount of participants Finland has ever sent to the World Gymnaestrada.
Of all the participants of the World Gymnaestrada, 80 % are women and girls and 20 % men and boys. However, 95 % of the Finnish participants are women and girls. This year the Finnish delegation also includes an exceptionally high number of participants who are under 16 years old, amounting to 35 % of the group.
Altogether Finns will perform in 108 shows during the week of the festival. The country’s strong Large Group Performance culture is apparent in the delegation as well, because almost 70 % of the Finns will perform in various Large Group Performances. Finns can additionally be spotted at Group Performances at Messukeskus Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre, City Performances around Helsinki and the National Evenings at the Helsinki Ice Hall.
High-quality programs have been gathered from around the world to the FIG Gala. Finland has been chosen to take part in the show with an aesthetic group gymnastics program that includes athletes from the Finnish national team. Finnish 2015 World Champion team of aesthetic group gymnastics Minetit is also performing there among other teams. Finland has also been granted their own National Evening show, where other Nordic visitors will perform alongside the host country.
The history of Finns at the World Gymnaestrada has been gathered between one set of bindings in a book written by Lauri Virkkunen: Celebration of Performing Gymnastics – the World Gymnaestrada from Rotterdam to Helsinki. The work was published in the beginning of June and is available for purchase at the World Gymnaestrada event.
Additional information about the Finnish participants at the event:
Heli Pekkala, Finnish Gymnastics Federation p. 0400 303 007, firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information about the World Gymnaestrada:
Sanna Yli-Patola, head of communications, p. 040 540 0041, email@example.com
The World Gymnaestrada 2015 Helsinki is a seven day lasting non-competitive gymnastics festival which will gather together 21,000 participants from more than 50 different countries in Helsinki. The event will start on July 12th and end on July 18th and is in terms of international participants the biggest event ever held in Finland. This worldwide Gymnastics for All event authorised by International Gymnastics Federation is a organised every four years and attracts the largest number of active participants of any FIG event. The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and the First Lady Jenni Haukio act as the patrons of the World Gymnaestrada 2015 Helsinki. The 15th World Gymnaestrada is organised by the Finnish Gymnastics Federation with the cooperation of the City of Helsinki and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
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