In the first week of April the sports ground of the Heliopolis University was the main campus attraction for the students. For the second time, Ashraf El Gammal of BMI („Bothmer Movement International“) from the United Kingdom had arrived to offer a training course. He was accompanied by Karsten Junkers and Luci Baumann as assistants. It was the first course to be offered directly at the Heliopolis University.
After the SEKEM School, Gymnastics Now at the Heliopolis University
Thus, it was the pupils of the SEKEM School who were at the centre of the last workshop in Bothmer gymnastics. This time, the course was to primarily benefit the academic students. And sure enough, solely through the joy of movement and the warm enthusiasm of Ashraf El Gammal and his companions, many students were immediately drawn into the action. Anyone arriving tired at the court felt immediately encouraged to participate in the first few minutes. Most quickly forgot that the desire to move had not been felt until their arrival at the courts. Even the stifling heat stemming from the spring storms typical for this time of year suddenly no longer mattered. And many girls, who, for cultural reasons usually do not participate in sports activities, quickly and unreservedly found their ways into the teams. The fact that Arabic was also Ashraf’s mother tongue further eased any hesitation some may have initially had.
Sport: An Important Companion to Mental Work
Physical education teachers were given a comprehensive overview and background on their topic at the university and about the importance of sports as complementary activities to intellectual learning. At the Heliopolis University, sports are an important part of the “Studium Fundamentale” or “Core Programme” and life on campus in general.
In fact, key social skills can be development with a targeted exercise program as Bothmer gymnastics. These include teamwork, perseverance, mindfulness, attention and many others. There was a wealth of new games and movement activities to be learned in the workshop that even replaced the otherwise ever-present football in the minds of the Egyptians who participated. Bothmer gymnastics along with the pure joy of the game has certainly changed the students and the experience of acquiring social skills through exercise will surely have lasting impact.
In attendance of another upcoming course the teachers and students of the Heliopolis University thank Ashraf’s team for this year’s contribution.