Acrobatics & Tumbling - Thu, Jan. 15, 2015
Getting out in front of the curve is what every competitor wants. Georgetown College athletics is no different in wanting to stay ahead of growing sports and adding them to their list of already well-established programs. For the 2015-16 academic year, the Tigers will start competing in Acrobatics and Tumbling.
In 2011, colleges and universities began to compete in the hybrid sport and in 2013 USA Gymnastics added it in the category of Gymnastics for All. Acrobatics and Tumbling has six competitive elements: compulsory, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and a team routine. Skill sets are similar to cheerleading, gymnastics and tumbling opening up a wider opportunity for many talented athletes that might not have had an outlet for being competitive in the collegiate arena.
"What most people associate with gymnastics, is young girls moving away from their families and training for the Olympics," said GC first-year coach Alicia Castagneto. "It goes beyond that. These athletes train in gyms all across the country with the hope that they will go and compete collegiately.
"However, with the sheer number of athletes and the small number comprising a team, many very gifted athletes are left without an avenue to compete. We've seen some transition into cheerleading and diving, which are both highly competitive, but we still have athletes wanting to be doing more of what they grew up loving, the tumbling passes and routines."
Acrobatics and Tumbling offers just that and has really started to gain traction over the past several years at the collegiate level. Adrian, Alderson Broaddus, Azusa Pacific, Concordia University Wisconsin, Fairmont, Gannon, Glenville State, Hawaii Pacific, King, Oregon and Quinnipiac all have varsity competitive teams. Beyond that, analysis shows more than 111,000 high school athletes are competing in A&T along with the 300,000 in all-star/club gym groups.
Teams can carry up to 45 athletes, who will compete in six to eight meets a season typically from February to April. The recruiting base is broad, pulling from artistic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, Team Acro & Tumbling youth sport, diving, and high level competitive cheer teams.
"The talent is out there," Castagneto said. "With just 12 collegiate teams for the 300-plus thousands of athletes, this sport is about to really take off. We're excited to get our team going as the sport continues to move more toward the East Coast after great success in Oregon and Hawaii Pacific."
This is the second new sport the Tigers have added under the leadership of Director of Athletics Brian Evans.
"It is exciting right now," Evans said. "We are seeing universities in this area start this program, and we are getting right in on the expansion with a varsity team next year. This type of program fits perfectly in the academic and athletic model of what we do here. It was a lot of research and discussion, but at the end of the day it seemed a very easy choice to be adding Acrobatics and Tumbling."
Learn more about the new sport here.