Introduction to Gymnastics


The word gymnastics has its origin in the Greek word "GYNOS". About 2600 B.C. the Chinese developed a few activities which resembled gymnastics. The Romans followed the Greeks and they made the gymnastics as compulsory for their soldiers as part of their training. They had the ambition to conquer and they thought gymnastics could make their fighting forces supremely fit. The Germans used the word "gymnastics" for a school for her education. A cursory look at the Olympic history shows that the gymnastic events were held in 776 B.C. The classical Olympiads were discontinued in 392 A.D. The Olympiads were revived around 1870.

The gymnastics were revived in many European countries in the beginning of the 18th century. In the revival of gymnastics perhaps the biggest part was played by Johann Basedow (1723-1790). But the person who came to be regarded as the "Great grandfather of gymnastics" was Johann Guts Muths (1759-1839). He wrote a book entitled "Gymnastics for Youth". This is considered to be the first book on gymnastics. But the real father of gymnastics is Job Friedrick (1778-1852). He is regarded as the founder of Turnverein. He invented it in early 1800. He introduced Parallel Bars, Long Horse, Side Horse and Horizontal Bars in 1812. Francis Amores of Spain invented Roman Rings in early 1800. Perling (1776-1839) of Sweden was the first to appreciate the corrective value of gymnastics. He invented the Stall Bars and the Vaulting Horse (Box). Pranz Nachtegall (1777-1847) started the first school for training of gymnastic teachers at Copenhagen. Adolf Spiess (1810-1858) in Switzerland.

The kinds of gymnastics are:

  • Artistic (educational) Gymnastics
  • Acrobatic Gymnastics
  • Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics.
  • General Gymnastics

A gymnasium is a place fitted with apparatus for gymnastics exercises. Masso society of gymnastic was formed in 1898 in Russia. The FIG (Federation of International De Gymnastics) was the first Sports Federation in the world which was founded in 1881, within eleven years other Federations were also formed. In 1896, the First Olympic Games of modem era were held at Athens. Gymnastics with 6 apparatus also formed part of the programme. The first International Gymnastics Championship was held in 1903. The international competitions for men and women both started in 1934.

In the women championship the following apparatus were included:

  • Floor
  • Vaulting Horse
  • Beam
  • Uneven Bars

Gymnastics in Pakistan

When Pakistan came into being, the only important centre of gymnastics was Lahore. The game has not been able to prosper properly in Pakistan. However the die-hards like Master Ghulam Qadir, Master M. Feroze, Maulvi M. Ashraf, Chaudhry Mansha, Ahmed Minhas, Khawaja Zahid Saeed, M. Ilyas Bhatti, Habibur Rehman Khan and Kh. Farooq Saeed have kept this sport alive in Pakistan by taking pains in training the handful youngsters who had been showing keenness to learn this attractive sport. 

Pakistan Gymnastics Federation got affiliated to different bodies as is described below:

  • Asian Gymnastics Federation in 1954
  • Pakistan Olympic Association in 1957.
  • International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in 1958.

Pakistan first participated in the First Asian (GANEFO) in 1966 at PhnomPenh (Cambodia) in the gymnastic event and got fourth position.

Pakistan Gymnastic Federation has now following units affiliated to it:-

  • Punjab Province  
  • Sindh Province
  • Balochistan Province   
  • NWFP Province
  • Pakistan Army
  • Pakistan WAPDA
  • Pakistan Police
  • Pakistan Railways
  • Gymnastic Judges Association of Pakistan 

Provisional affiliation with playing rights have been given to Capital Gymnastic Association, Islamabad.

Higher Education Commission's application with Pakistan Gymnastic Federation is under consideration.

Pakistan Gymnastic Federation is holding the following events regularly:-

  • Under 18 National Gymnastic Championship
  • Under 14 National Gymnastic Championship
  • National Gymnastic Championship

Yearly Optional events include:

  • Khokhar Memorial National Gymnastic Championship
  • Khushal Khan Memorial Gymnastic Championship

In the 1st Indo-Pak Punjab Games 2004 held at Patiala (India) in December, 2004, our gymnastic team bagged 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 7 Bronze medals.

Pakistan now has the privilege of having 6 Brevetted International Gymnastic Judges are as under:-

  1. Mr. Manzoor H. Jafary
  2. Prof. Painda A, Malik
  3. Mr. Javaid Ahmed
  4. Mr. Shah Jahan Anwar
  5. Mr. Abdullah Jan
  6. Mr. Khalid Mahmood Rathore

In addition to this the Federation has also about 12 National Judges.

On the coaching side the following are the FIG qualified coaches:-

  1. Mr. Muhammad Farooq            Level I & II
  2. Mr. Manzoor H. Jafary              Level I
  3. Prof. Painda A. Malik               Level I

Federation has number of qualified coaches on its panel who passed coaching courses organized by Olympic Solidarity Commission under International Olympic Committee.