Federation Friday: Serbia

Andjela Djurdjevic - WAG1.JPG

Federation Friday: Serbia

April 1, 2016

This week we welcome you to the Republic of Serbia, on the Balkan Peninsula.

Gymnastics has a long tradition in Serbia and former Yugoslavia. The Federation was founded in 1914, and from the very start it became one of the leading sports in the country, enjoying much prestige among its citizens. Following the principles of the Czech Sokol system established by Miroslav Tyrš, a lot of clubs worked diligently on developing gymnastics, bringing it each day to a higher level, finally resultingin numerous medals at various high-level international competitions in the 50’s and 60’s.

Our pride are Tereza Kočiš, silver medalist at the 1950 WAG World Championships in Basel, Mirjana Bilić, gold medalist at the 1963 WAG European Championships in Paris, Pavel Opavski, gold medalist at the 1963 MAG European Championships in Paris, Zoran Ivanović, participating MAG gymnast at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Milena Reljin Tatić, participant RG gymnast at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Danijela Simić, participant RG gymnast at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Dara Terzić Šterić, participant RG gymnast at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Majda Milak, participating RG gymnast at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and Kristina Radonjić, participating RG gymnast at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Unfortunately, with the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 80’s and 90’s, investments in gymnastics stopped catastrophically. Although clubs continued working within the country, the activities of the Federation went extremely down. This standstill lasted for a decade, until the organization of the EYOF in 2007 and Universiade in 2009, which were the dawn of a new age.

The 1st European Games in Baku in 2015 may be considered to be the greatest success of the Serbian Federation after its rebirth in the 2000’s, with the participation of our MAG team (Miloš Paunović, Bojan Dejanović and Petar Veličković) and WAG individual gymnast Aleksandra Rajčić.



Aleksandra Rajcic

Today, the Gymnastics Federation of Serbia has 59 member clubs and a couple of thousand registered gymnasts, from the movement oriented Gymnastics for All, all the way up to the Olympic sports of MAG, WAG and RG. Though mostly oriented at organising national competitions, the Federation annually organises two major international events: the FIG sanctioned international RG competition “Ritam Cup” and the international MAG and WAG competition, the Memorial “Laza Krstić and Marica Dželatović“.

“Ritam Cup

Organised by the club Sportski klub “Ritam” Beograd, the RG international competition was launched in 2007 by founding member, club president and Olympian RG gymnast, Milena Reljin Tatić. With the idea to promote and expand RG in Serbia, as well as give the opportunity to Serbian gymnasts, coaches and judges to test their knowledge on the international scene, the competition slowly grew into an internationally acknowledged event, with 25-35 teams and 10-16 participating countries each year. As a symbol of its quality, the competition is FIG sanctioned since 2010.



Tamara Gavrilovic

The competition is annually held in April, this year 22-23 April. With already over 120 registered gymnasts from 13 countries, the competition is looking very promising. All relevant information is available on the website www.ritam.org.rs, and, as a teaser, we invite you to check out the competition video from last year on the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTj1LfPd_Ok

Memorial “Laza Krstić and Marica Dželatović“

Organised since 2010, the competition grew out of the regional DKMT Cup, a competition between gymnastics clubs in the DKMT Euroregion. On the Serbian side, the Novi Sad based club Sokolsko društvo „Vojvodina“ Novi Sad, wanted to expand the competition from the Euroregion, and decided to organise a global international competition. Although mainly for age groups and younger categories, each year more and more junior competitors are welcomed to the competition.

The name of the competition serves as a lasting memory of the two most influental coaches in Novi Sad, Serbia and former Yugoslavia: Laza Krstić and Marica Dželatović. Laza Krstić was a renowned and much admired and honored coach of MAG, while Marica Dželatović a coach of WAG of the highest rank.

The competition is held each year on the first weekend of December, all relevant information will be available on the website www.gimanstika-ns.rs in due time. In the meantime, it's worth checking out the competition's promotional video and last year's competition on the links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZOLJmAatvo&feature=youtu.be and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDs8dxWoSfo&feature=youtu.be

Text and photos: Serbian Gymnastics Federation