National Gymnastics Day, which has been a recognized national day since 1998, is observed on the third Saturday in September. This day is set aside as an unofficial celebration of a sport that is equal parts graceful movement, agility, physical strength, coordination, and balance. It’s a great occasion to share gymnastics with new students and pay respect to the sportspeople, coaches, and facilities keeping the sport vibrant across generations.
Gymnastics Benefits More Than Just the Body
As a sport, gymnastics offers tremendous benefits to athletes, both physical and mental. In today’s screen-driven world, gymnastics promotes an active, healthy lifestyle that gets kids off the couch and away from sedentary activities. Gymnastics students develop strength and coordination by using their own body weight as resistance in events such as handstands, handsprings, rolls, and cartwheels. Gymnastics students additionally develop fine-tuned motor skills such as agility, flexibility, and balance. But did you know there are mental and social benefits to gymnastics as well? Physical activity such as gymnastics has been proven to decrease and manage anxiety and depression, as well as promoting the development of neural pathways in the brain. Psycho-social benefits of gymnastics include the development of focus, discipline, problem-solving, and determination. These qualities all contribute directly to the early childhood development of self-esteem and self-efficacy. Gymnastics additionally gives children the framework to work as a team and practice sportsmanship, qualities they can carry forth into their lives outside of gymnastics.
Tumble into These Fun Facts!
word gymnastics is derived
from a Greek word gymnos, which translates to train naked. This is because in ancient Greece, Athenian and Spartan
gymnastics developed as a way to prepare men for warfare. In the last year of
their training, gymnastics students performed a military-styled dance for
dignitaries clothed only in the tools of war.
gymnastics events included in the modern Olympics are the same events exhibited
during the first Greek Olympics.
colonel Don Francisco Amorós y Ondeano brought educative gymnastics to France
in the early 1800s, recognizing that the sport focuses on the essential
physical traits required for hand-to-hand combat: strength, dexterity, and
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, who founded the German gymnastics movement in 1811, is
called “The Father of Gymnastics.” He invented many of the events and props still
employed by modern gymnasts, including the rings, parallel bars, high bar,
vault horse, and pommel horse.
Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG), founded in Liege, Belgium in 1881,
is the oldest sports organization in the world. Today, the organization is
located in Lausanne, Switzerland, and holds authority over formalizing age
requirements and rules for international gymnastics competitions.
Use the Vagaro Marketplace to locate a gymnastics studio or gymnastics trainer in your area! Or, if you’re a gymnastics studio looking for new students, try creating a Daily Deal to give your enrollment a boost. Want more? Get Featured on the Vagaro Marketplace and make sure your facility is the first one a new customer finds when they perform a local search.
Header Image: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro