Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) - AeroGym Fiji

 

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade supports Gymnastics Australia’s partnership with the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji to deliver Aerobic Gymnastics in Fiji.

 

Since 2016 Gymnastics Australia has partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver AeroGym Fiji as part of the DFAT Pacific Sports Partnerships Program.  Nearly 4000 women, men and children across Fiji have participated in AeroGym Fiji activities aimed at making a more equitable, healthy and inclusive Fiji.

 

WHO data identifies that 51.9% of Fijian females are physically inactive, a prevailing risk factor for non-communicable diseases – this compared to 24.9% of males.  Furthermore, the United Nations Women’s HQ states that “Women's political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy.”  Women's involvement in sports can, not only contribute to improved fitness, but also empower them through providing opportunities and developing skills valuable within their local communities and beyond. 

 

AeroGym Fiji builds upon the activity of traditional aerobics which is popular with many Fijians, by providing lesson plans and choreographed Aerobics routines of various difficulty levels, incorporating strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular fitness.  The elements of AeroGym have similarities with Fijian traditional cultural dances.

 

Children and youth are encouraged to participate in AeroGym alongside their mothers (and grandmothers), with the goals being:

  • For children, the opportunity to train in the village alongside their family members and to ultimately perform and compete if they choose
  • For adults, improved physical fitness, social well-being, competition, and opportunities to take on administrative, coaching, officiating or leadership roles

 

Whilst targeted to women, men are most welcome to participate in AeroGym Fiji and people with disabilities are proactively encouraged to join in.

 

Popular incentives for participants have been opportunities to perform and compete in teams at regional and national competitions.  Such competitions commence with the Fijian traditional savusavu kava ceremony, followed by some friendly village rivalry as teams perform, vying for the coveted title of AeroGym Champions.