Gymnastics for All – Sikkens Ahlquist

Q: What distinguishes Gymnastics for All from the other disciplines of gymnastics?

Sikkens Ahlquist: “With Gymnastics for All, our aim is to spread gymnastics worldwide. You do that with development work and with education. And then you promote it with events. So the event we have had the longest is the World Gymnaestrada, which was introduced in 1953, and that has always been an event that gymnasts wanted to attend. From 1953, when we had 5,000 participants, it has grown constantly. So now Today, we have around 20,000 participants coming to the World Gymnaestrada every fourth year. ..

Q: Can you preview Helsinki 2015 a bit for us?

Sikkens Ahlquist: “Today we have 22,000 gymnasts registered, representing 54 federations. The big struggle now is to get more federations involved, to get them to send groups there. Also the philosophy of the World Gymnaestrada is that you should pay your own costs. That means that we always try as far as possible to keep the costs down. That’s why we have mainly school accommodations. …

Q: Everyone says there’s a wonderful ambiance at the World Gymnaestrada…

Sikkens Ahlquist: “The most fantastic thing is the atmosphere! Because there are no competitions, there are no medals, there are only performances for joy. You watch, and you perform. …

Q and A with Margaret Sikkens Ahlquist, President of the FIG Gymnastics for All Technical Committee