My Story: World Gymnaestrada

GNSW Gymnastics for All Officer Natalie Jaques has managed countless overseas NSW Performance Team trips. For the 2019 FIG World Gymneastrada, Natalie not only managed, but performed in with the NSW combined Team. 

We caught up with Nat to hear about her experience: 

What is Gymnaestrada?

Gymnaestrada is the opportunity for athletes of all ages and abilities to come together and celebrate all forms of Gymnastics on a world stage.

How did the NSW combined team work? How did you coordinate training?

The combined team provided an opportunity for athletes to attend the World Gymnaestrada where their club did not meet the minimum team requirements or did not offer a performance program.

Applications were sent out to the NSW gymnastic community for athletes from all Gymsports, ages and abilities – we ended up with 10-70 years with a wide range of diversity, it was truly and inclusive team.  

Training was held 1 Sunday a month for 18months leading up to the event and then fortnightly for the last 6 months, we trained in Sydney and the Central Coast at supporting clubs who provided the venue for free or minimum cost.

Those athletes that were under 18 needed to provide a chaperone to attend the event, Chaperones were also included to perform in the World Team performance and the opening/closing ceremonies and classed as part of the Team.

Tell us about your routine

The theme of the Gymnaestrada was ‘Show your colours’ so we needed a vibrant routine that would be entertaining and catered to the athletes skills.  ‘I do Gymnastics’ was the theme of our performance outlining a bridal shop sale that the mannequin’s were not happy with thus the revolt against the tailor and his apprentice’s.  The routine was colourful, entertaining and was fun to be a part of.

What was the highlight performance?

Every day we had a crowd to perform to with people we new from all over the world coming to watch our performance.  The comradery and support from our extended Gymnastics families  was definitely a highlight – and that we nailed every skill!

The team also performed 2 routines in 2 countries in 1 day which was an experience.

 What will you remember most from the experience?

The old friends we reconnected with, the new friends that were made, the team experiences that were shared, the amazing country that hosted us and an event that will be hard to forget.

To learn more about Gymnastics for All click here