125 years of gymnastics for Concorde

“We were afraid of losing organs, especially teenage girls, with these two years of a health crisis, but in the end, the number held steady” President Bernadette Schmitz rejoices. The club offers many disciplines: women’s artistic gymnastics, tumbling, contemporary and modern dance, fitness and well-being classes in the gym or even children’s gymnasium and psychological movement …

If some are more geared towards entertainment, others are participating and shining in the competition… like last weekend! “On Saturday, we hosted the French-speaking Federal Retreat Championship and have a few podiums, with qualification for the Belgian Championships. And in Mouscron, this weekend, there was the French-speaking women’s artistic gymnastics final, and among the 7-9 youth, we have three golds. (Editor’s note: Mila Decker, Mylene Lamporell, and Sarah Paulis)”.

a different universe

Thus, the President, who has been in office for 20 years, is very proud of her company, which has been able to adapt as the sport evolves towards greater excellence than ever before. “As in all sports, we always ask for more. When I attend competitions and see the difficulties imposed and points taken from seven-year-olds… It’s like the Olympics! When I was judging myself, we overlooked technical problems like a leg that was not done Tighten it enough. It doesn’t matter, as long as the exercise was successful.” as you say.

Between 1992 and 1998, Concorde was one of the top Belgian clubs, thanks to the arrival of two Romanian professional coaches. “In those 90s, we went up to Divisions 2 and 1, we had young girls, including my daughter, who were selected in the Belgian national team from 1994 to 1998 and who participated in the world championships (in Japan) and Europe. That was the development that led to Creating our gymnasium, which all the clubs in the area wanted to take advantage of.”

If the Welkenraedtoise community remains active and highly recognized, particularly in terms of its high-level infrastructure and equipment, the performance of the sports world has changed. “Now, when we have children who have a very interesting level, they are sent to high level training centers. In our small regional clubs, we no longer know how to do a high level.”

New landing room

Concorde’s next big step has already been announced with the construction of a room attached to the existing room to accommodate a landing track. “We have one but it’s not complete and when we get to the national level (we go up to Division 1 and 2) we realize that our players, who have to perform their series in two stages, have a problem with ‘endurance. They are not accustomed to performing 25-meter jumps and acrobatics. And then, sometimes we have up to 50 kids at the same time in a room and that room becomes accident-prone.”

The infrastructure will also include a large trampoline. Perhaps enough to re-launch a dedicated section, the boss slips. The file is awaiting the signature of the Walloon Minister, so it is still necessary to wait three to five years for the club to benefit from it…

Celebration program

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Royal Gymnastics Society of Concorde is organizing its first traditional annual gala, this weekend on May 7th and 8th, on the theme. Bernadette notes that “each collection will showcase its history, its 125 years of discoveries for kids in the gym, 125 years of twists and turns, and 125 years of seniority for veteran gymnasts or even 125 years of beginner swimwear in the gym.” Schmitz. On this anniversary, the club is also planning its first modern and contemporary dance competition on May 22nd.

Finally, an exhibition dedicated to the evolution of Concorde will take place from 9-11 September, at the Cultural Centre, accompanied by performances of gymnastics and dance. These dates correspond to the period of the establishment of the association in 1897, but above all allow the presence of all members. “In the five months since January, we have had to catch up with the two-year delay that occurred with Covid in terms of training and competitions,” the president recalls.

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