FIG Gymnastics for All, Technical Committees and Athletes' Commission Meetings
Lausanne (SUI), February 18 – 21, 2013
LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, March 6, 2013: Following the official Transfer of Powers ceremony held at the Hotel Mövenpick in Lausanne (SUI) on February 17, 2013, the newly formed FIG Gymnastics for All Committee, the Technical Committees for all FIG disciplines as well as the Athletes' Commission took up their work for the 2013 - 2016 Olympic Cycle. Meetings took place from February 17 – 21 in the Olympic Capital and it was a good opportunity for members from the various committees to get to know one another better.
Gymnastics for All
Over the course of three days, a key discussion within the FIG Gymnastics for All Committee hinged on its business plan for 2013-2016. Under the direction of committee president Margaret Sikkens-Ahlquist (SWE), members exchanged ideas on their vision, mission, goals and actions to be summarised in a ground-breaking document designed to guide the committee through the cycle. The committee will focus mainly on development, education and events at the international, continental and national level.
Regarding the 2nd World Gym for Life Challenge on July 10 – 14 in Cape Town (RSA), the committee is excited to announce the registration of 1,200 participants as well as the identification of event evaluators and feedback consultants. Members took the opportunity of this kick-off meeting to communicate with representatives of the 3rd World Gym for Life Challenge that is scheduled to take place in 2017 in Vestfold (NOR).
As for the Gymnastics for All flagship event, the World Gymnaestrada, the first informational meeting for the 2015 event will be held in the host Helsinki (FIN) on September 6 – 8, 2013; invitations are in progress.
Exciting times ahead for the GFA Committee with the approach of the Foundation and Join the Gymnaestrada courses planned for 2013 and 2014.
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
The Men’s Technical Committee meeting began with a farewell to past long-time members Adrian Stoica (president) of Romania, Sawao Kato of Japan, and Istvan Karacsony of Hungary. New president Steve Butcher (USA), with four new members present, reviewed how the committee will operate during the cycle and their prevailing philosophy, outlining service to the Men's Artistic Gymnastics community and federations.
The group used this time to select the D-jury judges for the 2013 World Championships, finalise version 2 of the Code of Points to be available in the next 30 days, review the Intercontinental and International Judges' Courses and revise parts of the presentation materials; they also wrote a proposal for the upgrade of a judge's category during the cycle. The committee has announced its commitment to producing new materials designed to better educate and prepare judges for competitions.
Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
In a meeting with the Women’s Technical Committee, FIG President Bruno Grandi (ITA) highlighted the common philosophy that must continue to guide the development of the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points. Grandi stressed that the Tables of Difficulty should reflect work based on study and scientific value in the aim of ensuring consistency while avoiding constant change. The President reminded members of their duty to guarantee sports justice, which is the philosophy he urges TC members to follow, before suggesting that the judges’ evaluation system be reviewed. Grandi closed by expounding on the development of a new Olympic Qualification system for the next cycle and a common initiative to make FIG events more attractive.
Under the new presidency of Nataliya Kuzmina (RUS), the Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee discussed technical responsibilities for the current year, including the 32nd World Championships in Kiev (UKR) and the new Code of Points.
Time was given to exploring areas of adjustment and improvement related to Olympic qualification, the role of the Superior Jury, Intercontinental Judges’ Courses and coach education through the Academies based on the FIG Executive Committee meeting and discussions with FIG President Bruno Grandi (ITA), first Vice-President Slava Corn (CAN), and General Secretary André Gueisbuhler.
The committee was pleased to review the first World Cup of 2013 as well as videos of apparatus elements submitted by two national federations that were confirmed as good examples of Mastery, a new component of Difficulty. Both are good indicators that the gymnasts and coaches are working hard, generating innovative apparatus ideas with the new Code of Points.
Two of the main topics on the Trampoline Technical Committee’s agenda were a look back over the judges’ courses held thus far and the Olympic Games qualification process.
Committee president Horst Kunze (GER) and his colleagues pointed out ambiguity and discrepancies in the General Judges Rules, equally noticed by other TC presidents. A proposal outlining slight adjustments to these rules will be forwarded to the Competition Commission and Executive Committee for the benefit of the national federations.
Following the idea of a new qualification system for the Olympic Games, the committee discussed and finalised a first working proposal for the Competition Commission that includes the World Cups as part of the qualification process.
On the Aerobic Technical Committee’s programme for this working day was the development of the discipline on all five continents, not only with regard to the number of federations but also the quality of athletic performances.
What collective and individual strategy should be put in place to reach a 100-federation objective?
What plans and activities should be undertaken for the four years to come?
A moment was given to examining both past and future Intercontinental Courses and International Judges Courses, updating of the Code of Points, evaluating new elements submitted by the federations, the Age Group programme and to the elucidation of Aerobic Dance and Aerobic Step.
The final topics to be addressed involved preparation for this year’s competitions:
• The four FIG World Cups in France, Japan, Portugal and Bulgaria
• The 9th World Games in Cali, Colombia
• The Gymnasiade, a school multi-sport event where Aerobic takes its place for the first time alongside Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics in Brasilia (BRA), November 27 – December 4, 2013, and for which provisional registration has just been completed for national educational entities.
This first meeting was the backdrop for an official welcome to the new athletes’ representative, Aldrin Rodriguez (MEX), elected by his peers at the last World Championships in Sofia (BUL) in June 2012. Aldrin succeeds Ana Macanita (POR) who, over the past two cycles, did an excellent job, carefully maintaining TC-athlete communication. The baton has been passed: “Thank you, Ana, for your sterling collaboration of the past few years; and welcome, Aldrin, to this passionate undertaking and to the path we now follow side by side.”
The framework has been set for Aerobic to develop, and it’s up to the sport’s many actors, federations, coaches, judges and gymnasts to get that done.
The main topics on the agenda of the Acrobatic Gymnastics Technical Committee led by new TC President Rosy Taeymans (BEL) included discussions and decisions on the protocol relating to the running of TC meetings, professionalism and committee procedures. Members were given an opportunity to outline their strengths and background in the sport and to propose the areas in which they felt they had an interest and expertise. Confirmation of assignments will be confirmed at the next meeting.
The committee agreed to support FIG President Bruno Grandi’s wish to incorporate an acrobatics show programme in conjunction with World Championships of other FIG disciplines in cooperation with Cirque du Soleil.
Following the idea of standardisation within FIG Gymnastics disciplines, the Acrobatic committee will develop a technical deduction table for perfect execution. Moreover, one of the TC’s goals is to simplify the rules and Tables of Difficulty significantly, while it will be receptive to the Acro community’s position regarding drastic changes.
Finally, two former TC members will undertake an approved project at the forthcoming World Cup events to assess the impact of the new Code of Points and the Tables of Difficulty.
The Athletes’ Commission, presided by Jani Tanskanen (FIN), warmly welcomed their newest member Aldrin Rodriguez (MEX) for Aerobic Gymnastics, who made a very promising debut at his first meeting.
During their meeting, the commission concentrated on how they can support gymnasts during their careers as well as throughout the post-career transition.
Furthermore, members discussed ways to tackle the challenge of finding new representatives for certain disciplines, currently for Trampoline and Acrobatics. Former commission member Dmitri Poliaroush (BLR), who was elected to the Trampoline Technical Committee, and Germany’s Sabrina Hegele, who stepped down from the commission after Frank Boehm of the same national federation was elected to the Acrobatic Technical Committee, will need to be replaced. The Athletes’ Commission emphasised that the most important quality for new candidates should be their commitment to do the job.
Commission members reviewed their working methods with the focus on greater efficiency, before discussing several decisions taken by the FIG Executive Committee. To some of these topics a response or statement was made.