'Gymnastics' forms of physical exercises and training to develop muscles or to demonstrate agility. In ancient Greece, gymnasiums were set up to train sportsmen for Olympic games. In 1881, the technical committee of the International Gymnastics Federation published a 12-page booklet on rules and regulations of gymnastics. The new rules and regulations suggested evaluation of physical exercises in terms of difficulty, combination and execution. World gymnastics championships have been held regularly since 1950.
Gymnastics in Bangladesh is a comparatively new sports form but has been growing in popularity rapidly. The Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation was established in 1972. It received government recognition in 1973. Gymnastics competitions at the national level were first held in November 1973. Competitions for women gymnastics began in 1974. Apart from these two annual tournaments, the Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation organises special competitions on Independence Day and Victory Day. Dhaka metropolitan gymnastics and junior gymnastics competitions are being held since 1980.
Gymnasts of Bangladesh take part in international tournaments too. In 1978, the country participated in the Commonwealth Games held at Montreal and in 1988, in Iran';s Millennium Gymnastics. At the SAARC gymnastics competition at Allahabad in 1998, two Bangladeshi participants won bronze medals. Bangladeshi gymnasts take part in almost all events including six for men - floor, parallel bars, horizontal bar, roman rings, pommel horse, and long horse - and four women';s events - floor, uneven bars, balance beam, and side bars. The local clubs and organisations that sponsor gymnastics teams are Bangladesh Biman Airlines, Saint Margaret Tutorial School, Farashganj Sporting Club, Gymnastics Koushali, Dhaka Presidency College, Cicily Club, Youngmen';s Fakirapool Club, Jatrabari Krirachakra, Progoti Boys Club, BTMC, Ansar and VDP and BKSP. [Gofran Faroqi] [Faroqi, Gofran Assistant Director, RPATC, New Eskaton, Dhaka]