Taree Great Lakes Physical Culture is sending 11 girls and ladies to perform in Sydney as the Australian sports movement, Physical Culture, celebrates 125 years since its inception.
Elana Pope, Rachael Smith, Josie Fitzgerald, Ellen Griffin, Jess Kernahan, Riko Fitzgerald, Kylee Fitzgerald and Jess Hawkins from Gloucester and Lillian Miller-Hippe and Charlotte Waters from Stroud will join 2000 performers to showcase their unique sport at the Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney for the BJP 125 Year Spectacular on June 24.
Physical Culture - or Physie as its affectionately known - has certainly stood the test of time. The sport was set up before Australia was federated and before the Australian Navy existed.
Its rich history includes the use of the Prince of Wales’ (Edward VIII) feathers as an emblem in 1920, to being part of the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
Physie’s motto is ‘empowering girls for life’ and is a fusion of dance and sport for girls and women, from ages 3 to 73, across Australia.
Jackie Rawlings, managing director of Physical Culture says she’s incredibly proud of the work that thousands of volunteers have put in over 125 years to create such an important legacy for the country, however, she’s increasingly concerned about the pressures young women are under.
“Physie aims to empower girls and we do that in a number of ways. We prioritise the development of self-esteem in our students. We teach them to have a positive relationship with their bodies and help students blossom with confidence and self-assurance,” she said.
The sport’s origins are in Hobart in 1892, when a Danish man from an athletic family decided to teach Australians what Scandinavians were doing to stay fit in mind and body.
Through the decades the activity has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian families and has evolved to incorporate yoga moves, contemporary movement and a focus on girls and women, where initially it was a mixed sport.
The activity continues to grow. In the past five years the number of clubs has increased by 30 per cent and new clubs have recently sprouted up in London and Bali.
Rawlings states, “the reason we think Physie has withstood the test of the time is the supportive and nurturing community and the fact that generations of women can participate and compete together.
“It is not uncommon for grandmothers, mothers, daughters and grand-daughters to be members of the same club and share their involvement.”
To secure tickets for the BJP 125 Year Spectacular go to http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=PHYSIE17