INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 19, 2009 – Nearly 1,500 gymnasts from Europe, North, Central and South America, as well as the United States, are headed to Ft. Worth, Texas, for American Sokol’s 2009 International Sport and Cultural Festival June 23-27 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The five-day multi-sport, fitness and cultural activity is hosted by American Sokol and USA Gymnastics. June 24 is USA Gymnastics Day at the Festival.
"The International Sport and Cultural Festival is a unique opportunity to enjoy participatory gymnastics, as well as a variety of other sports and programs," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. " Physical activity and fitness are important for a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, and group gymnastics is a fun, recreational way for families and people of all ages to get involved. I think families will enjoy the wide spectrum of activities, from watching the downtown parade to seeing the group routines."
The International Sport and Cultural Festival includes a variety of activities, from a number of group gymnastics events to artistic and rhythmic gymnastics to basketball and golf. Also scheduled are opening and closing ceremonies, a downtown parade and social activities. The Pan American Gymnastics Union groups will present a spectacular PAGU Continental Evening during the Festival, as well as participate in many of the other activities, competitions, and performances. The PAGU countries sending delegates include: Brazil, Chile, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, USA and Venezuela.
Other countries expected to send gymnasts to participate include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Suriname, Switzerland and Uzbekistan.
Here’s a brief explanation of some of the activities that may be unfamiliar to the general public.
Aesthetic group gymnastics – a discipline of gymnastics based on stylized, natural total body movement. The composition must contain versatile and varied body movements, such as body waves and swings, balances and pivots, jumps and leaps, dance steps, and lifts. Physical qualities such as flexibility, speed, strength, coordination, and ability to move effortlessly are required. A competitive group consists of six to 10 gymnasts.
GymFest – a non-competitive performance program. USA Gymnastics hosts an annual National Group Gymnastics GymFest.
TeamGym gymnastics – a competitive version of group gymnastics where squads perform together in two events, group floor exercise and group jump. Currently there are four graded difficulty levels with competitions that lead up to the TeamGym National Championships
Festival rhythmic group gymnastics – is designed for general gymnastics experts, professionals, gymnasts, newcomers and enthusiasts who are interested in developing rhythmic gymnastics skills. The festival rhythmic group gymnastics program differs from traditional rhythmic gymnastics in several ways: athletes are "evaluated" not judged; feedback from experts is immediate and encourages progress at all levels; and instructional clinics, group competition and team exhibitions are part of each competitive event.
Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics – women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics are part of the American Sokol competitive program at the Festival.
Other programs – in addition to the above, other activities include special needs basketball and a golf outing for the adults; fun and performances at the Medal Plaza; and a variety of other related social events.
Tickets may be purchased onsite at the Ft. Worth Convention Center, and a ticket order form is also available online at www.2009iscfestival.com. For just $10, fans and visitors may purchase a daily pass that provides entry to all daytime public events, competitions and activities at the Ft. Worth Convention Center.
An individual ticket is required for several special events: Opening Ceremonies, June 23, 7:30-9 p.m., Ft. Worth Convention Center Arena, $12; Pan American Evening, June 24, 7:30-9 p.m., Ft. Worth Convention Center Arena, $12; Stockyard Social, June 25, 7-11 p.m., Ft. Worth Stockyards, $22; Festival Gala Show, June 27, 1-2:30 p.m., $10; and Closing Ceremonies, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Farrington Field, $12.
To learn more about the event, click here.
About American Sokol
American Sokol remains an organization dedicated to the physical, mental, and cultural advancement of its members, the youth and adults that attend its programs and the local communities we serve. Sokol was founded on the philosophy that only physically fit, mentally alert, and culturally well developed citizens can make a nation strong and give life to the honorable spirit of patriotism. There are currently 44 Sokol units, or clubs, open in North America. Please visit our website at http://american-sokol.com/ or contact us by phone to find the club that is closest to you.
2009 International Sport and Cultural Festival
Schedule of activities
7:30-9 p.m. – Opening ceremonies
9 a.m.10:45 a.m. – TeamGym (Levels 1-4)
Morning – Family Fun Run/Walk
Morning – Team Calisthenics/Team Marching Competition
Morning – Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition (junior/senior/children)
1:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. – TeamGym (Levels 5-8/international)
Afternoon – Family Fitness Achievement Challenge
Afternoon – Fitness Challenge (junior/senior men/women)
Afternoon – Men’s Basketball
Afternoon – Mixed Volleyball (junior/senior)
Afternoon – City performances
7:30-9 p.m. – Pan American Gymnastics Union Evening
9 a.m. – Aesthetic Group Gymnastics
10 a.m.- noon – GymFest Displays (session 1)
Morning / Afternoon – Artistic Gymnastic Competition (junior/senior/higher level children)
Morning / Afternoon – Artistic Gymnastic Competition/Optionals (junior/senior/higher level children)
Morning / Afternoon – Golf
Noon -2 p.m. – Festival Rhythmic
3-5 p.m. – Gymnastics for All Challenge
9-11 a.m. – Downtown Parade
12-2 p.m. – Aesthetic Group Gymnastics Technical Clinic (coaches/athletes)
12:45-3:15 p.m. – TeamGym Finals (Levels 5-8/international)
3:30-5:30 p.m. – GymFest Displays (session 2)
Afternoon – Volleyball – Pool Play (junior girls and boys/women/men)
Afternoon – Family Bowling
Morning – Artistic Gymnastics Competition (children-lower levels)
Afternoon – Volleyball – Playoff Play (junior girls and boys/men/women)
1-2:30 p.m. – Festival Gala
7-8:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony