Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires

Gimnasia y Esgrima de
Buenos Aires (GEBA)
Full name Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires
Short name GEBA
Founded 11 November 1880 (1880-11-11)
Ground Estadio GEBA
Location Buenos Aires
League(s) Metropolitano (Hockey)
Torneo de la URBA (Rugby)
Affiliations AHBA (Hockey)
URBA (Rugby)
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 of Argentina, with around 30 different disciplines 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 of the club in 1906.

The football team took part in the Primera División championships since 1909, when the squad won the second division title,[3] therefore promoting to the top division. Gimnasia played in Primera from 1910 to 1917 when the team was relegated to the División Intermedia (second division) after finishing 20th of 21 teams.[4] The club disaffiliated from the Association soon later, although football has remained as one of the sports practised up to present days.

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 Football", 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 the "Asociación Argentina de Football", putting an end to the conflict.[5]

Fencers of the club in 1912.
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 Copa Centenario Revolución de Mayo held there. In the final match of that tournament, played against Uruguay, a riot occurred after the suspension of the match was announced, and part of the grandstands –made of wood– were destroyed by fire. After the stadium was rebuilt, many football games held there, even when Gimnasia had disaffiliated from the Association.[5][6]

In 1920 Gimnasia y Esgrima disaffiliated from all the football associations of Argentina to organise its own championships. By 1928 GyE had more than 120 members with 8 teams formed. Ten years later there were more than 400 members registered to play football. Because of the growth of the activity, the club built one field more.[7]

After leaving the official football leagues in the decade of 1920, rugby union was one of the predominant sports of Gimnasia y Esgrima, winning the Torneo de la URBA titles of 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.[8]

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.[9][10]

On September 2014, the rugby union senior squad returned to the first division (Grupo I) after defeating Manuel Belgrano by 23-16 at playoffs (Zona Reubicación).[11] The team had been relegated in 2007.[12]


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

Notable athletes

José Sesana (rugby) and Luciana Aymar (field hockey), some of the most notables athletes that played for GEBA.
Athlete Sport
Argentina Martín Naidich [13] Swimming
Argentina Damián Blaum [14][15] Swimming
Argentina José Sesana [16] Rugby union
Argentina Luciana Aymar Field hockey
Argentina Jorge Prezioso [17] Rugby union
Argentina Patricio Cammareri [18][19] Field hockey


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.



The women's field hockey team, 2010 champions.



Field hockey


Rugby union

Music concerts

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"-[26]


  1. 1 2 Información institucional on club's official site
  2. 1 2 "Un ejemplo de dirigente" by Jorge Cermesoni, La Nación, 1998-2-3
  3. "Campeones de Segunda División" at AFA website
  4. "1917 Argentina Primera División" at RSSSF
  5. 1 2 Historia del Fútbol Amateur en la Argentina by Jorge Iwanczuk - Publisher: Autores Editores (1992) - ISBN 9504343848
  6. "Historia del fútbol en GEBA"
  7. Historia del fútbol en Gimnasia y Esgrima by Francisco Montesanto - GEBA Football, retrieved 9 Nov 2016
  8. "Historia de GEBA" at URBA website
  9. "", Ambito Financiero, 11 November 2012
  10. "GEBA y el desafío de un grande", La Voz del Interior, 26 March 2010
  11. "Banco Nación, Los Tilos y GEBA regresaron a Primera", ESPN, 20 Sep 2014
  12. 1 2 "Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires y su historia, a Primera" by Jorge Búsico, La Nación, 25 Sep 2014
  13. "Martín Naidich clasifició a los Juegos Olímpicos en 1500 libres", TyC Sports, 8 Aug 2015
  14. "Heroico: Damián Blaum es campeón mundial de aguas abiertas",, 1 Sep 2013
  15. "Damián Blaum y un reinado que se hizo esperar", CanchaLlena, 6 Jan 2014
  16. El Gráfico N° 1105 (1939) - Published by Editorial Atlántica, Buenos Aires
  17. "Jorge Prezioso: “Creo que no hicimos los puntos que merecíamos”" at Rugbychampagneweb, 6 Jun 2013
  18. "GEBA, el primer tricampeón de la Liga Nacional de Hockey" at, 12 Sep 2011
  19. "GEBA sufrió pero zafó del repechaje" at, 20 Oct 2013
  20. "Historial de los Campeones de Hockey en Argentina", HSRA
  21. "GEBA, campeón por quinta vez consecutiva" - TyCSports, 20 November 2012
  22. "Hockey: las chicas de GEBA campeonas por sexta vez consecutiva",, 12 November 2012
  23. "GEBA,heptacampeón" at ESPN
  24. "GEBAv vence a Belgrano y es campeón por séptimo año consecutivo", El Comercial
  25. "Hepta campeonas" at club website
  26. "Estadio GEBA sede Jorge Newbery" on
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