Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires

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Gimnasia y Esgrima (GEBA)
Gimnasia Esgrima Buenos Aires Crest.svg
Full name Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima
de Buenos Aires
Motto Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
Nicknames GEBA
Location Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Founded 11 November 1880; 133 years ago (1880-11-11)
Club colors          
(White, Light blue)
Activities Athletics, Basketball, Basque pelota, Boxing, Chess, Climbing wall, Contract bridge, Fencing, Field hockey, Football, Artistic Gymnastics, Golf, Martial arts, Roller hockey, Roller skating, Rugby union, Swimming, Table tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Water polo, Yoga
Chairman José Beraldi [1]

Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima (also known for its acronym GEBA) is an Argentine multi-sports club placed in the city of Buenos Aires. The institution is one of the oldest in the country, having been established in 1880. Gimnasia y Esgrima is also one of largest clubs in the country, where around 30 different disciplines are hosted in the three buildings that the institution owns in Buenos Aires.


The institution was founded as "Club Cosmopolita de Gimnasia y Esgrima" on 11 November 1880, by fencing and gymnastics enthusiasts in the "Confitería del Aguila", a traditional coffee house of Buenos Aires. Léon Marchand was designed the first president of the club.

Three years later, in 1883, the club changed its name to "Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima".[1] In 1909 Ricardo Camilo Aldao became president of the institution.[2]

The football team took part in the Primera División championships during the amateur era. After promoting to the top division in 1909, Gimnasia y Esgrima played in Primera from 1910 to 1917 when it was relegated to the second division after finishing 20th of 21 teams.[3] The club disaffiliated from the Association soon later, although football has remained as one of the sports practised up to present days.

A view of club's stadium box in 1921, during a football match.

In 1912, Gimnasia y Esgrima was part of the first break up in Argentine football, due to a conflict caused by the position of the club about the sales of tickets for football matches. Gimnasia stated that its members should not pay for tickets because of their membership, which allowed them to take part of all the activities, including free access to the stadium. The club also claimed a higher percentage of the income for tickets sold. The conflict persisted until Gimnasia decided to disaffiliate from the Association on July 14, 1912, establishing a new league, the "Federación Argentina de Fútbol", presided by Ricardo Aldao himself.

Other clubs followed Gimnasia y Esgrima joining the new league, such as Porteño, Estudiantes de La Plata, Independiente, and other teams from the second division. The new league organized its own championships from 1912 to 1915, when both leagues merged into "Asociación Argentina de Football", putting an end to the conflict.[4]

The rugby union team in 1964.

The club's stadium (which has a capacity of 18,000 spectators) was the field where the Argentina national team played its home games since 1910, making its debut during the "Torneo Centenario de la Revolución de Mayo" held there. In the final match of that tournament, played against Uruguay, a riot was caused after the suspension of the match was announced, and a fire destroyed part of the grandstands, made of wood. After the stadium was rebuilt, many games were held there, even when Gimnasia had disaffiliated from the Association.[4][5]

After leaving the official football leagues in the decade of 1910, rugby union was one of the predominant sports of Gimnasia y Esgrima, winning the Torneo de la URBA titles in 1911 and 1912. The club won two more titles in 1932 and 1939, its last championship to date. Gimnasia y Esgrima currently plays in the Grupo II, the second division of the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires league system.[6]

In 1942 president Aldao moved to the club's distinguished guest apartment, establishing it as its permanent home. The only condition required by Aldao to live there was the payment of a monthly rent which would be the 6% of the investments made by the club when the apartment was built. In 1947 and after 40 years as president of the institution, Aldao resigned due he was afraid of a possible intervenction of the Argentine military government in the club.[2]

Gimnasia has gained a good reputation in women's field hockey due to its successful campaigns during the decade of the 2000, having won 7 Torneo Metropolitano titles, six of them consecutively being the last in 2012.[7][8]


Active departments of
Club Gimnasia y Esgrima (BA)
Athletics pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Soft tennis pictogram.svg Boxing pictogram.svg Chess pictogram.svg Climbing pictogram.svg
Athletics Basketball Pelota Boxing Chess Climbing
Fencing pictogram.svg Field hockey pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Judo pictogram.svg Roller hockey pictogram.svg
Fencing F. hockey Football Gymnastics M. arts R. hockey
Inline speed skating pictogram.svg Rugby union pictogram.svg Swimming pictogram.svg Table tennis pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Water polo pictogram.svg
Roller Rugby Swimming T. tennis Water polo Volleyball

The club has three facilities to host the practise of different sports. All of them are located in the city of Buenos Aires.

  • Aldao: named in honour of Ricardo Aldao, of the most prominent presidents of the institution, also founder of dissident league "Federación Argentina de Fútbol" in 1912. Aldao also donated the trophy (named "Copa Aldao") for the tournament held from 1913 to 1955 played between Argentine Football Association and Uruguayan Football Association teams. With 35,000 m2, the facility is located on Bartolomé Mitre street of the city of Buenos Aires. The sports practised there are basque pelota, boxing, contract bridge, chess, martial arts, artistic gymnastics and yoga.
  • Jorge Newbery: named honoring Argentine aviation pioneer Jorge Newbery, who was also a notable fencer (he won the first South American championship at Gimnasia y Esgrima in 1901), died in 1914. The facility occupies 55,000 m2 on Dorrego Avenue, near to Galileo Galilei planetarium in the Palermo district. Athletics, swimming and water polo are some of the sports hosted there.
  • San Martín: The biggest facility, with 139,000 m2, on Figueroa Alcorta avenue. Some of the sports practised there are football, roller skating, rugby union, table tennis and volleyball.


Gimnasia y Esgrima's teams have also worn a white jersey with a horizontal light blue band. The most used alternate jersey has been the dark blue model, leaving the horizontal band the same as the original.



José Sesana, part of the rugby union team that won the last title for the club in 1939.


  • Primera División (1): 2006


Field hockey[edit]


Rugby union[edit]

Music concerts[edit]

Main article: Estadio G.E.B.A.

The club usually rents two of its facilities for concerts and events, being the Jorge Newbery facility the most used for those purposes. Many international artists touring on Argentina have played at Gimnasia y Esgrima, named "Estadio GEBA"-[15]


External links[edit]