The ACF is the national body of calisthenics in Australia. It was formed in 1986 with the aim of developing:
- national standards for the quality of coaching, adjudication, rules and pupil skills
- a national competition
- growth strategies for the sport
- policies for modern day governance and conduct in accordance with requirements of the Australian Sports Commission, which are then adopted by the State Sporting Associations.
What is Calisthenics?
The word calisthenics comes from the Greek words ‘kallos’ for beauty and ‘thenos’ for strength. Indeed, the components of the sport aim at achieving those physical attributes, but the sport also influences the emotional and social development of girls and boys through friendship and teamwork.
Calisthenics is an artistic sport unique to Australia. It combines dance, gymnastics, singing, apparatus manipulation and ballet, and performed in theatres. It involves a team of pupils learning routines choreographed to music – each of about three to four minutes duration – and presenting those routines at competitions. Pupils learn approximately six routines concurrently throughout a year and this is where the diversity of the sport is seen.
In addition to team work, participants can compete in solo and duo items.
There are different levels of Calisthenics; some clubs are non-competitive, performing only at their annual concert. Other teams compete during the year at a number of competitions, performing on stage in costumes. Clubs throughout Australia offer classes for pupils aged three years and over and some offer masters classes.
Sport or Art? – Calisthenics can be categorised as both. As a sport it encourages physical development, coordination, self-discipline and team spirit. As an Art it develops an appreciation of music and rhythm, the beauty of line and the excitement of presenting on stage.
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For information about Calisthenics in your area, click on your state logo