Four years ago, Temple Men’s Gymnastics was told it would no longer be varsity status. The numbers dwindled, the athletes moved, and the program was in its last days, or so it would seem. As the '18-'19 year began the team doubled in size, and the team spirit increased dramatically. We have guys practicing Monday through Friday, with purpose and momentum in the right direction. This is all starkly different than what should have happened by the year 2018, as foretold by many.
By being a part of the 1% of programs that are still functioning after being cut, the gymnasts understand the pressure that is on them, and still handle their responsibilities with aplomb. Without the luxuries of student-athlete services and without priority registration, the guys come in and are getting stronger and better, without a stop in sight. The primary motivator that these guys have is the love for gymnastics and their own intrinsic motivation to become better at the sport. The program itself is reflecting the locomotion that the athletes are providing. More people are becoming part of the support that we have, and we have enough momentum to not only get the ball rolling for our current team, but to establish a foundation of support for the future teams and the future athletes.
It is truly a privilege to get to be a part of something so rare; the culmination of many people’s efforts and passions, and to bring more awareness and prestige to a program that looked as though it was on its deathbed nearly 4 years ago. Temple Men’s Gymnastics doesn’t seem to be slowing down, but the opposite; the program is gaining ground, and there is no doubt in my mind that, given enough time, we’ll return prestige to an already prestigious collection of wonderful athletes and people.
Information about the author: Aaron Trofman is a senior kinesiology student at Temple and his interning with the men's team.
Photo credit: Matt Beck