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Peppino Giamminola

Peppino Giamminola

September 6, 1927-September 8, 2015

The world of Baton Twirling is saddened to learn that Peppino Giamminola, WBTF Honorary Member and past president of the Federation Twirling Italia (FITW) has passed away.

Another ICON in our sport is gone.  I will always have great respect and fond memories of this wonderful man who did so much to help with the development of baton twirling, not only in Italy, but all around the world.

I will share with you just a little brief insight into some of his major contributions ……

Sandi Wiemers, WBTF President       

The origins of the World Baton Twirling Federation and of the Baton Twirling

Homo Mundus Minor said the Roman philosopher Severino Boezio: Man is a world in miniature and this small but huge world, in our opinion, doesn't only refer to ideas and achievements of his present time, but also everything that tells about his past, as well as the experiences of men lived before him and passed on to future generations. Man's life consists not only in actions and ideas which are useful to the present and the future, but that are interwoven with memories. The memories of events personally experienced will be the topic of the WBTF origins. 

This memory serves to reveal the importance of Peppino’s ideas!

The first international meeting of the representatives coming from seven nations was held in London on

August 10, 1977.  It was promoted by Mr. Ken Sasser, President, ITII {International Twirling Teachers' Institute) and by Mr. George Walbridge.  England, Scotland, the USA, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Japan were present.  During that first meeting the Italians Mr. Giamminola made a proposal to change the concept on the figure of majorettes (that was supposed to be a beautiful young girl to entertain the audience) to be considered as an athlete, a gymnast who did physical exercises with the interpretative skills of the artistic and rhythmic gymnastics along with the use of a tool called twirling baton.

With evident satisfaction this concept was accepted and approved by all present. The meeting established a few basic points: preparing an appropriate statute, involving twirling technicians to prepare a technical regulation, increasing the number of participating nations and setting a second meeting in April 1978 {Canary Islands).

So it happened and the following year, in the Isle of the Great Canary, the leaders of Japan, USA, France, Belgium, Scotland, England, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Italy approved the first statute and regulation prepared by some technicians. It was also decided to organize a first non-competitive event called Open to be held in Italy, in Abano Terme and Venice in the spring 1979. Last but not least the first Federal Board was appointed. The members were: President, the American Lawyer Mr. John Kirkendall; Vice President, the Italian Mr. Peppino Giamminola; Secretary, the Scottish  Mrs. Audry Montgomery; Treasurer, the American, Mr. Jack Crum; Deputy Secretary Treasurer, the Japanese Mrs. Aiko Takayama.

The first meeting took place April 1st, 1979 in Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. To the astonishment and enthusiasm of the large public {how many tourists!) in Piazza San Marco, a new exciting sport event was held. Among the founders great emotion was evident as they were aware that the dream expressed two years before in London had come true.

The WBTF meetings followed one another with a steady rhythm starting from the one held in Abano:

October 1979 in Paris, Seattle August 1980 (in this beautiful city on the Pacific the first completion on a trial basis during and together with the U.S. Championship) and gradually all others so far until today!

The article below tells you much about this man and how well respected he was…

Oleggio condolences for the death of Peppino Giamminola

OLEGGIO, ITALY •  On Saturday, September 6th, Peppino Giamminola celebrated his 88th birthday. Smiling, affectionate, as always next to his beloved wife, Rita.  This morning the news of his sudden death. Peppino Giamminola not only loved his city, but for Oleggio really made much over the years. Reminds the mayor Massimo Marcassa: "The news we received this morning and really caught us by surprise. He had just celebrated 88 years. Peppino was one of those figures who have shaped the history of Oleggio; its commitment to the world of sport and in the Federation of twirling, especially, brought great prestige to the city. It is part of that generation of people who have left a visible groove in the history of Oleggio. It 'was an active part of public life, the activities and the social, cultural and sports. A great loss. I like to remember the events of his ever-present Oleggio, always close to his wife Rita: quetso also another example of the weight of this person and his wife. A beautiful picture of family which serberemo always a pleasant memory. "


President of the Italian Federation twirling, Giamminola brought the sport at the highest top of the world. A passion for sport which, combined with the civic, has created a leading figure in the panorama of the city and not only. Therefore, the administration is already "seriously considering a clear recognition that gives the opportunity to preserve the memory of Peppino".

Even Senator Elena Ferrara recalls that "in Oleggio, twirling athletes and companies led to important sporting results on the national and international scene, is part of the city's identity, a point of reference for the children, for their growth and education, a passion for so many generations. For this the oleggesi and Italian sports mourn today the loss of an outstanding sportsman, Joseph Giamminola and weep also, with his authority, his great humanity. The ongoing commitment of "Peppino" passes by the dedication and passion with which the ASD Gymnastics Twirling Oleggio transmits and inclusive educational values ​​of sport for young athletes, coming to engage in time generations. A legacy that necessarily deserves to be collected, from the proximity of the community to Rita Gallarate, Joseph's wife, with whom he shared a great love for the sport. This story studded with victories can only continue with new challenges and renewed goals that in our hearts we will dedicate to him. "

The funeral will be held Thursday, September 10 at 15 in the Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul.