Leeds East Academy


The 2019 World Gymnaestrada

On Sunday 7th- Saturday 13th July 2019 Sophie, Year 11 student from Leeds East Academy, attended The 2019 World Gymnaestrada in Dornbirn, Austria.

After travelling from Manchester Airport to Austria, via Frankfurt (Germany), the team of gymnasts arrived at the school that they lodged in throughout the week. Sophie commented, “Every day was a different adventure. Most days we were rushing to catch a bus or a train to make sure we arrived at each venue on time. We were constantly on the go and we were exhausted, but it was well and truly worth it.”

Over the course of the week, Sophie performed in several different routines including; The World team display (which brought together teams from many countries to perform together at the opening and closing ceremony), The British large group display, a 1920’s routine and the main routine (which they performed six times).

During the Gymnaestrada, Sophie also performed in the ‘English night’. This night displays the best teams from Britain and Austria. This event had not happened for eight years, so the excitement was palpable during each performance. Fourteen routines were performed, each based on the different ages, beginning at the Stone Age and ending with a 21st Century/Futuristic routine. Speaking about the English night, Sophie said, “Participating in the English night meant a lot to me! I was able to perform in an event that had not happened for 8 years and that was so exciting. Whilst performing judges were watching us and out of the six people that were chosen from each of the fourteen teams, I am really proud to say that I was one of the chosen gymnasts!”

“The best moment I had experienced throughout the whole trip was the ‘FIG Gala’. This is the most prestigious event of the entire week where the best of the best teams from each country perform for all the gymnasts. My team and I had front row seats and the performances were astonishing. Through the week we also spectated other country’s performances, such as the gymnasts from Switzerland and Japan.”

As well as enjoying the many performances, Sophie said one of the greatest things about the Gymnaestrada is the numbers of friends she made. Before leaving to return home, gymnasts swapped kits and badges allowing everyone to keep memories from this once in a lifetime experience.

In closing Sophie said, “The 2019 World Gymnaestrada was well and truly the most amazing week I have ever experienced in my entire life! There is no way to possibly thank the Trust enough for supporting me in attending The 2019 World Gymnaestrada!”

“As a Trust, we feel privileged to have supported Sophie in achieving one of her personal dreams and ambitions. Sophie is a wonderful young woman who inspires all staff and students with her kindness and real enthusiasm for her education and life. Well done Sophie!” – Mr Andrew Whitaker, Executive Principal.

To view the 2019 World Gymnaestrada  Closing Ceremony click here.