Oklahoma City, OK: This past weekend was the 2018 JO National Championships where the country's best athletes, judges, and coaches gathered to support our next generation of collegiate and elite gymnasts.
As our sport evolves, so must we. Coaches have gotten smarter, gymnasts learn skills earlier and the equipment has gotten better. New collegiate programs are emerging and others are reformatting to adapt to our sport and universities, which has greatly changed over the past 50 years. After several decades of declining collegiate competitive men's gymnastics, we are finally on the upswing.
For the past six weeks, the head coaches from Arizona State University, University of Washington, SoCal United, NorCal United, New York Alliance, and Temple University have been collaborating on how to work together to grow collegiate men's gymnastics and provide more opportunity for the 1000 kids we saw competing this past weekend.
Three tiers of men's collegiate gymnastics have emerged over the years:
Tier 1- NCAA varsity programs
Tier 2- collegiate teams (unrecognized by athletic departments, self sufficient and compete high level),
Tier 3- NAIGC club gymnastics (student run and coached, recreational).
For decades, there were two teams stuck "no man's land" because this middle tier didn't exist until now. The new organization dedicated to grow men's collegiate gymnastics, inspire existing teams to higher standards, and provide more opportunities is called the Gymnastics Association of College Teams (GymACT).
What does this mean for TUMG? It means we have a support group to become more successful as an entity, will further add value to collegiate gymnastics, and we are part of the solution to the [previous] downward trend of our sport in the US. On behalf of all the members of GymACT, we had a pleasure chatting with all of the gymnasts, parents, and coaches about our gymnastics teams and the future of our sport. Download the GymACT brochure here.