Ist der deutsche Turnsport noch zu retten...?

A very brief History of Danish Gymnastics &
Sports Association (DGI)

- Souce: DGI Website

  The Danish Gymnastics & Sports Association (DGI) is a national organisation, working through sports and other cultural activities to strengthen the work of local amateur associations in an endeavour to promote the education of both youths and adults.

DGI is a sports and cultural organisation with about 1.3 million members in Denmark. DGI provides a long list of sports activities in the 5,500 local clubs, which are the foundation for DGI's 1.3 million members. This is a significant number considering that Denmark has only 5.3 million inhabitants.
Each local association is a member of one of 24 regional associations which together form DGI nation-wide. As one of Denmark's three major national sports associations DGI is an important cultural factor in Denmark.
A typical DGI local association has several activities - sports as well as non-sport activities, the most numerous being gymnastics, football (soccer), badminton, swimming and team handball. Apart from these five, DGI encompasses approximately 15 other sports and cultural activities on a national level.

The organisation has roots back as far as 1861 where events in Denmark and other parts of Europe, particularly the volatile international climate, led to the formation of shooting associations with the ultimate goal of defending the nation. Later the associations adopted other sports: gymnastics, football, badminton, handball etc. On 31 October 1992 - after a century of frequent mergers and divisions of the national sports associations - two old sports associations merged, forming the modern-day DGI. Since neither of the existing national offices could hold the administration of the new joint organisation, DGI built its new headquarters at Vingsted (Jutland) in 1993.

DGI is under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe 11 of Denmark.

What do we believe in?
Democracy is not just a matter of a certain form of government. The most important foundation for a healthy democratic system is created in people's involvement and commitment to the local community, where by working together With others in an atmosphere of respect, dialog and tolerance can help rnaintain a foundation for democracy.

Forming associations has been one of the most fundamental characteristics of the Danish people, historically as well as today. The right to form associations is even embodied in the Danish constitution, which dates back to 1849.

Community, fellowship and the joy one finds in sport are three decisive elements in DGI's work. Everyone can join in without having to achieve a certain level of expertise.

Gymnastics in Denmark
Modern gymnastics came to Denmark at the turn of the 18th century as a part of the Age of Enlightenment. Danish Gymnastics in the form, which we know it today, was strongly inspired by the Swede, P. H. Lingh at the end of the 1 9th century. Over the years it has found its own particular expression in Denmark.
A comprehensive body of principles and practises has slowly been built up, largely through the work of the late Dane Niels Bukh and other pioneers.

In Denmark gymnastics is primarily performed in teams. The basic purpose is to exercise the body to maintain and develop its flexibility and strength and to enjoy the good influence a healthy body has on your mind. This is done through either rhythmical exercises to music or through vaulting and tumbling. Among the many activities offered by DGI, gymnastics is the most extensive with approx. 300,000 gymnasts.The Danes join clubs in which they generally meet once or twice a week during the 7-8 months winter season. In the spring the training ends with a grand final performance in the gymnasium or in the village hall. The main emphasis is community, fellowship and the gathering together of people where gymnastics is the common interest.

In Denmark gymnastics is practised by people of all ages, from children to the elderly. We can justly say that gymnastics is a "lifestyle" for a large number of the Danes.

In addition to being active in a local club, DGI's regional associations offer the gymnasts who would like greater challenges the possibility of participating in selected regional teams.

DGI offers its members more than 700 gymnastics related courses every year on a regional and national level. About 17,000 gymnastics instructors have already received a formal gymnastics education arranged by DGI. A characteristic of Danish gymnastics instructors is that they are recruited at the age of 15 or 16 and undergo their education during their spare time.

DGI's Structural Organisation of Gymnastics
On a national level, gymnastics within DGI is comprised of a long list of subcommittees, which report back to the national gymnastics committee. In addition to this, there is a gymnastics committee with subcommittees in the 25 regional associations across Denmark.

Danish Gymnastics from an International Perspective
Danish gymnastics teams have been an inspiration for most of the world since the 1930's. It has, therefore, become a tradition that several of DGI's gymnastics teams go abroad in order to share the spirit of Danish gymnastics. The goal of these journeys is also to make new friends across country borders and between different cultures. These new friendships often result in international exchange agreements between local and Danish gymnastics instructors. DGI is very interested in further developing its international network - not only in gymnastics, but also within other sports and cultural activities.

National Danish Gymnastics Team
National Danish Gymnastics Team was formed in 1993 by DGI in order to promote awareness of the tradition of Danish gymnastics abroad. Through workshops and performances, the team members contribute to an understanding of both Danish culture and DGI's work. The team consists of some of Denmark's best gymnasts. The team has been touring all over the world, and has also accompanied Her Majesty Queen Margrethe 11 of Denmark during her visit to South Africa.

Exchange Programme for gymnastics instructors
In order to strengthen our international relations, develop Danish Gymnastics and the particular DGI philosophy abroad, DGI instructors have during many years been visiting our global partners. The visit can be arranged from just a short period to longer periods. We have a long lasting and solid experience with exchanging Danish Gymnastics Instructors with our global partners. As a part of an exchange program we would also like to include a visit by a Danish gymnastics team. We also find it important that instructors from our global partners visit Denmark.

International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA)
In order to find interested co-operation partners in the world of sport and to help these organisations by providing a wider range of choices, DGI has been very active in establishing ISCA, International Sport and Culture Association (formed in February 1995). 
ISCA is an association with at present (October 2000) 91 member organisations totalling some 20 million individual members from 44 countries.

According to the philosophy of both ISCA and DGI, taking part in international exchanges and events should be a possibility not just for a few stars from the world 6lite, but for everybody - you should not have to qualify or pass tests for it! Whereas some organisations tend to concentrate on the results of a few excellent athletes, ISCA encourages the broadest possible participation in sports and cultural activities and hopes to contribute to an understanding between people across borders. In short, ISCA's objectives are primarily sport for all, seeing sport in its broadest cultural sense.

The Tradition of Sports Festivals
DGI believes in the value of people gathering together. Therefore, sports festivals are arranged where many sports activities take place and diverse cultures meet. This can be experienced at the large "Landsstaevne', which is arranged by DGI and held every fourth year in Denmark. More than 45,000 athletes, of whom 25,000 gymnasts came from more than 20 different countries, participated in the national sports festival of 1998.

DGI's gymnastics committee arranges several gymnastics events all over the country every year.
In addition to this, regional associations and local clubs arrange regional and local sports and gymnastics events respectively. Such extensive activity in DGI means that there are more than 100,000 gymnasts of all ages participating in DGI's sports festivals yearly.

(Source: Website of DGI)

 .....  read more about  >> Niels Bukh (DEN)

Ist der deutsche Turnsport noch zu retten...?

(... wir sind sehr auch an Ihrer Meinung interessiert. Diskutieren Sie mit!)
YOUR mail, to:  /  Abschicken an... :
email_monitor.gif (15369 Byte)