Is Duke 200 for short riders

«During the first almost 100 years of gymnastics history, the role of women was limited to that of spectators. They helped with the festivities at the gymnastics festivals (...) »

Greetings for the celebration of 200 years of the Basel Citizens' Gymnastics Association

Dear Mr. President
Dear members of the anniversary organizing committee
Dear active and passive gymnasts of the BTV
Dear guests

I am very pleased to be able to bring you the warmest greetings from the Government Council today at the start of your anniversary year. 200 years, that's an impressive number, making you one of the oldest gymnastics clubs in Switzerland, only the one in Bern was founded three years before you.

A lot has happened in these 200 years. At the cradle of the Swiss gymnastics clubs stood the German gymnastics father Jahn, who founded the first gymnastics facility on the Hasenheide in Berlin in 1811. Obstetricians in many cantons were German gymnasts who came to Swiss secondary schools as gymnastics teachers because of the gymnastics ban in Germany in 1820. The origins of the gymnastics movement are very political, in Germany and Switzerland. The aim of the Swiss Federal Gymnastics Club, founded in 1832, was explicitly the national physical and mental education of Swiss youth.

During the first nearly 100 years of gymnastics history, the role of women was limited to that of spectators.

They helped with the catering at the gymnastics festivals and certainly washed the dirty clothes ... It took a little longer before they were allowed to do gymnastics themselves and the where and how was a hotly debated question for decades.

And here comes into play why I urged myself in the government to speak to you today: In the first half of the 1990s I brooded over log books from gymnastics clubs, gymnastic publications and sports science papers, and conducted interviews with older gymnasts , which ultimately resulted in my doctoral thesis in history, at the same time a contribution to the canton history of Baselland, which was published in 2001.

I have a copy with me that I will honor your Mr. President!

The Baselbiet canton's history was a great project, started in the 80s, which had rank and name among the modern historians' guild of the University of Basel, and so I was happy to get hold of a topic, gymnastics. I soon realized that I would like to focus on women's gymnastics, men's gymnastics with these aspects of national education, gymnastics clubs as parapolitical clubs, in my opinion there wasn't much new to discover.

The women's gymnastics movement, on the other hand, fascinated me. Its beginnings are to be found around the turn of the century, in 1893 the first women's gymnastics club in Switzerland was founded in Zurich.

In our region, the Basel bidders were still before you, in 1906 the DTV Liestal was founded, your women's team has existed since 1910 and as early as 1908 the first clubs merged to form the Swiss Women's Gymnastics Association, the SFTV.

And imagine, a group of female gymnasts from your ladies 'ranks, called gymnasts of the Citizens' Gymnastics Club since 1930, appears with a picture in my book! Namely in the chapter about the gym clothes!

The caption reads: «Jumping exercises with empathy. Ladies team of the Basel Citizens' Gymnastics Club. " (Photo from 1926).

I wrote: “At the same time, for example, the townspeople and the gymnasts of the Basel Citizens' Gymnastics Club were also doing gymnastics in tight-fitting gymnastics clothes, as Figure 13 shows, probably based on the model of gymnastics schools, which are also repeatedly presented in“ women's gymnastics ” were. "

The "Frauen-Turnen" was the association magazine of the SFTV, which appeared from 1921-37 as a supplement to the men's gymnastics newspaper, since 1938 as an independent newspaper.

Women's gymnastics as an accompaniment or embellishment of men's gymnastics, that characterizes the first decades of women's gymnastics quite well.

Be it local appearances at men's festivals or even in the 20s at the federal gymnastics festivals. These appearances were by no means undisputed. Moving women's bodies in public, also in increasingly lighter clothing, generally the sense and purpose of "physical exercises" and the pros and cons of competitions - these are the topics that accompanied women's gymnastics into the 1970s, the older generation among you will know that very well.

This research was very interesting for me. Shaking my head, I read the writings of the women's gymnastics father, Eugen Matthias, on the physical exercise of women, briefly summarized with the sole purpose of giving birth to healthy children one day.

A pleasant contrast to this were the interviews with older gymnasts born between 1904 and 1920. In these conversations, as well as in the numerous photos that I have viewed over the years, you can clearly feel and see that the joy of movement and also full commitment in the competitions, which of course won their place against all resistance of the gymnastics fathers (in the first few years simply without official ranking ...), as well as social gatherings were the motivation to participate in a team or a gymnastics club.

And that's still the case today. They are a multi-sport club with a wide range of exercise options for both genders and all ages. They appeal to people who do not want to jog through the forest alone, but want to improve their fitness in a group or of course also want to compete.

There is, of course, a huge difference in the fact that the offer is much larger today, which has not always made club life easy in various areas in recent years. Because it is still volunteer work that sustains the clubs. And I would like to thank you very much on behalf of the Government Council for your commitment. This commitment to the common good, be it as a trainer in a gymnastics or sports club, as a leader in the scouts, participation in a choir or in a political party - that keeps our society together by talking to one another, doing something together, the views and get to know and respect the opinions of other people and are less susceptible to one-sided interpretations and simple truths or fake news, as it is called today.

I haven't really appreciated your club yet. The present, beautifully designed and richly illustrated chronicle gives a wonderful insight into the past hundred years. From the founding history and the role of the Zofingerverein, to the disputes between academics and non-academics, the founding of women's and girls' teams and other sections, and generally to the different sporting - as one would say today as a generic term - offer of your work.

About the various forms of conviviality that always belonged to gymnastics or about the integrative work that was already shown in an example in 1831 when five young Greek refugees were accepted into the association, who were their parents in their country's struggle for independence against Ottoman rule lost and received asylum from Switzerland.

Or about the great athletes of the club like gymnast Eugen Mack, who joined the BTV in 1927 and won four silver medals at the 1932 Olympic Games before becoming five-time world champion two years later. Or Eugen Holzherr, who joined the club in 1952 and won three federal gymnastics festivals.

Over the years, women and men got closer and closer in terms of sport, in 1985 the ETV and the SFTV merged to form the Swiss Gymnastics Association (STV), in 1992 the cantonal associations in the country and city followed and since April 25, 2001 the gymnasts of the Citizens Gymnastics Club have also been part amalgamated in a main association.

I wish you all the best, lots of success and lots of fun for your anniversary year and for your future. You are doing outstanding work for our society - many thanks on behalf of the whole government.