The Gymnastic Society
the oldest sports and educational organization
in Poland. It has continued to carry on its
activities since 7 February 1867, when the first
Polish “nest” of
was registered in Lvov.
mid-1880s further nests of
were formed, spreading over the area of all
the three partitions of Poland.
The organization’s symbol is a falcon in flight
holding dumbbells in its claws.
associated with the
rise of sports in Polish
lands, including the
first historical football
match, played on 14 July 1894 in Lvov. From
the start, however, the popularization of
physical fitness was coupled with engagement
in patriotic and pro-independence activity.
This was manifested by the widespread
scouts in the Greater
Poland Uprising and Silesian Uprisings, in
which they constituted a substantial part of
movement also played a significant
part in the establishment of Polish Scouting,
which obtained personnel, organizational
and financial support from the Society.
Without the assistance of
, it would be
hard to imagine the organization of General
Haller’s Blue Army, recognized as the
independent, allied and co-belligerent Polish
army”, owing to which Poland was among
the winners of the WWI.
Many outstanding Poles, including Ignacy
Jan Paderewski, Gen. Józef Haller, Wojciech
Korfanty, Roman Dmowski and Karol Wojtyła,
were associated with
After the outbreak of WWII, the organization
was being ruthlessly destroyed (by both Germans
and Soviets) numerous activists were killed
because of their membership in the organization.
Following the war, the communist authorities
repeatedly refused to register the
became possible only after the
the communist regime in 1989. In 1945-1988,
the organization maintained its activity abroad.
Today, the society has more than 70 nests in
Poland and abroad, engaged in wide-ranging
sports, cultural and patriotic activities.
actively participates in public life by
cooperating with many other organizations
as well as state and local authorities.
The obverse of the silver coin features members
of the Gymnastic Society
doing a so-called human pyramid.
The reverse of the coin commemorating the
150th anniversary of the establishment of
the Polish Sokół movement features in its
central part an image of a pre-war activist
of the Gymnastic Society
wearing a historical overcoat called “chimere”.
It also features a falcon in flight carrying
dumbbells, which is the most recognizable
symbol of the organization, and an inscription
commemorating this event.