A riveting interplay of skill and dexterity transported onlookers at St. Mary's School, Pattom, here on Monday to the wonder world of gymnastics.

Onstage at the school auditorium were 16 young gymnasts from Germany, here as part of the International Youth Exchange programme organised by the District Sports Council.

The team of gymnasts — all aged between 15 and 18 — will be in the State for 10 days, staging their interactive performances in various schools, particularly those in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, and Kozhikode.

In his inaugural address, Home Minister Kodyeri Balakrishnan said the State government had included sports in the school curriculum. This was aimed more at fashioning a healthy generation of students than at producing Olympians.

Mr. Balakrishnan later handed over a gift for the German team.

“Gymnastics is really interesting as well as a daring sport, which needs great concentration and confidence. We are happy to be here among these children. They encouraged us throughout the performance. We came here mainly to know about the people and the culture of Kerala. The traditions and ways of living here are entirely different from those of ours. We are happy that we could visit this place and stage our show,” George Ludwig and Tanja Harpin, team members, said.