They’ve all got rhythm in their blood and a good dose of ambition and discipline to go with it: the gymnastic group around Kerstin Beiter sets the bar high at international competitions and electrifies the spectators.
They all come from competitive sports and because they left the sport to sometimes become mothers or pursue careers, Kerstin Beiter simply created her own gymnastics group for herself and the 17 young women – in Röthis. The athletes come from all over the country, because this group is unique.
‘Casual, groovy, rocking’ is the motto that the women have given themselves, and they fill these words with dynamism, joy of movement and rhythm. They have been travelling all over right down to South Africa since 1996, training hard every week for tournaments and stage shows and regularly come home with awards. The age range is wide, from 18 to 33 years, from schoolgirls to women in jobs, they’re often faced with the challenge of uniting all kinds of colourful lifestyles under one common schedule. “Our strength is certainly the enthusiasm that each individual brings to our activities, it would never work otherwise,” says the trainer Kerstin Beiter. “We share the same passion and work together to achieve our goals.”
A lot of creative work goes into the shows, the high performance requires precise training – and really regularly. The tasks are shared but Kerstin is the one who keeps her eye on everything and keeps everything running smoothly. She makes sure that fun and enjoyment remain the focus, that new ideas and stage designs are implemented again and again and that new collaborations are possible. The Youth Symphony Orchestra was given the privilege of playing live on stage in 2017 – a beautiful and unique experience for all those taking part.
The beauty of the Gymnaestrada is that everyone can join in...
The next big challenge has been scheduled for months – the 16th World Gymnaestrada will be returning to Vorarlberg in 2019. It’s not only going to be a huge event with 18,000 athletes from all over the world, it’s also going to be a massive task and responsibility for Kerstin Beiter and Britta Hafner because they’re going to be handling the opening ceremony and the final part. The event will see 1,500 children, teenagers and adults performing on stage. The concept, choreography, costumes, logistics, equipment, transport, music and even the smallest of details will have to be in place when the audience will be made up of thousands of spectators. The two women are working on this task in a team. The communications alone require a lot of intensive work and the two know exactly what awaits them in 2019 because they’ve already taken part themselves several times before.
“The best thing about the Gymnaestrada is that everyone can join in, all cultures come together, everything takes place peacefully, wonderful encounters and great shows can be seen every day. It’s a great time,” says Kerstin enthusiastically and surprisingly calmly. “I think the motto ‘come together. show your colours!’ is simply fitting for an event of this size and variety – and the opening show is going to be colourful that’s for sure,” she laughs.
The world’s media will be descending on the region between Lake Constance and Arlberg from 7 to 13 July 2019 and it’s certainly going to be a very special time for all those taking part – but also for Vorarlberg. And after that? “We’ll be training for the next tournament once that’s over,” says Kerstin Beiter and starts to stretch after sitting for so long.