|So, maybe some of you asked yourself: “What is
the history of the European Yo-Yo Community?” Here I can give you
some short (and for sure not complete) information.
In the late 1990s the first modern yo-yo contests were held in Europe. The organization team for the 1998 German Yo-Yo Masters and the Swiss National Contest were working together and also Harry Baier and Dennis Schleussner joined the Italian Yo-Yo Contest. So at Worlds 1999 in Hawaii there was a European group of Swiss, Italian, Austrian and German yo-yo players who started to put Europe on the yo-yo map.
Also at that time the Team Yo-Yo Maniacs did a lot of performances together with Swiss yo-yo players in Switzerland. For the contests, TYM helped also judging in the following years at the Swiss National Contest. For 1999 German Yo-Yo Masters Christian from Austria joined the judge panel.
The European Yo-Yo scene still was at a very early stage. But it was about to change. Eric met players in 2000 in Paris and at German Yo-Yo Masters 2000 guys from France, Denmark and Switzerland enjoyed the contest and the party ;-) At the 2001 German Yo-Yo Masters players from France returned and helped also judging. A year later TYM travelled to “Le Championnat de France 2002 de YoYo” to Paris and again to the Swiss National Contest.
The real kick start of the European Yo-Yo Community happened in 2002 at the German Yo-Yo Masters. Players from France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany were sitting together in a restaurant in Münster. The idea was to hold a yo-yo meeting for players from all over Europe, to get the scene more connected. The Italian players invited everybody to come to Italy. A half year later the first EYYM was held in Jesolo! Since then the European meeting was held every year in spring and it got more international every year! The EYYM is a very unique meeting. Players can party without the pressure of a contest and also players from all over the world are joining it. Also on that evening in Münster first ideas of an European Yo-Yo Contest were discussed.
So, starting in 2003 the European Yo-Yo Meeting was the hot spot of the community to get known each other personally and not only through the internet.
The EYYM happened so far in:
- Jesolo, Italy: 1.-4. May 2003
- Paris, France 28.-30. May 2004
- Budapest, Hungary 28. April - 2. May 2005
- Wroclaw, Poland 28. April - 1. May 2006
- Prague, Czech 27. April - 1. May 2007
- Vienna, Austria 1.-4. May 2008
- Zürich, Switzerland 30. April - 5. May 2009
- London, UK 30. April - 3. May 2010
- Barcelona, Spain 29. April - 1. May 2011
- Groningen, Holland, 27.-29. April 2012
- Istanbul, Turkey 3.-5. May 2013
Also players met at several EJCs (European Juggling Convention) which lasts a whole week during summertime with all the artistic genres you can imagine.
Besides EYYM more and more people started travelling from their country to other national yo-yo contests and meetings. The national contests established open divisions for international players and were glad for international judges to help them. TYM members for example travelled also to Italy, Spain, Finland and Czech.
Finally the first modern European Yo-Yo Championship was held in Prague (30.-31. January 2010). Setting the standards for the EYYCs to come, for the yo-yoing and the partying. (Which was trained very hard at the EYYMs) The European Championship returned to Prague in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 it was hosted for the first time in Budapest. And there it will be again in 2014.
Also in 2013 the European YoYo Conference (EYC) took place for the first time in Częstochowa, Poland from 9.-12. July. The big topic was “Building Partnerships”. Several subjects about the future of yo-yo were discussed. For e.g. judging, contest formats, standards, sponsorship, health and much more!
And what else in 2014? The newly founded IYYF (International Yo-Yo Federation) is getting ready to start the first World Yo-Yo Contest on European ground. It will be in August in Prague. So, make sure you will be there to see and play amazing performances and also be ready for some sleepless nights ;-)
Finally I can say: If you are still asking: What exactly is the European Yo-Yo Community? Then get your last cents together and plan your trip to the next EYYM, EYYC, Worlds or national yo-yo contest of your choice and meet all these crazy and lovely people!
More information on http://www.yoyo-europe.eu
Report by Markus „Jumper“ Springer