As December approaches, so does the collegiate gymnastics season! We in New Hampshire are very lucky to have a college in our state with a formidable gymnastics program. While sports like basketball and soccer can be seen at almost every institution, colleges with gymnastics programs are few and far between. There are less than 90 schools nationwide, with Division II and III being the most scarce. Men's gymnastics programs are even more rare, with less than 20 programs nationwide.
While I was growing up, going to watch UNH meets and attending UNH camps were fundamental in my own development as a gymnast. They also inspired me to reach for college gymnastics myself. My time as a collegiate gymnast was the best of my career, equipped me with important life skills, and expanded upon the foundation of life skills competing in gymnastics had already given me.
Unfortunately, gymnastics at the college level is almost always the first sport on the chopping block when budget cuts and other restrictions need to be made. I know this first hand, as my own college, Rhode Island College, tried to cut our program at the end of the 2010-2011 season. Luckily, due to unprecedented support, we were able to keep our program.
Without college gymnastics, there is nowhere for gymnasts to compete after high school, and keeping these programs alive is a cause that is so important to me.
What can you do to help? Support your local college teams! In New England alone, we have the University of New Hampshire (DI), Springfield College (Massachusetts, DIII), Rhode Island College (DIII), Brown University (Rhode Island, DI), Southern Connecticut State (DII), University of Bridgeport (Connecticut, DII), and Yale (Connecticut, DI).
UNH has published their meet schedule, check it out here! They will be opening their season on Sunday, December 2nd with a "Meet the Team" scrimmage meet. Other home meets will be held on:
January 6, 2013 vs. Rutgers
January 18th, 2013 vs. NC State
January 26th, 2013 vs. Temple, Brown
February 3, 2013 vs. Yale, George Washington
March 2, 2013 vs. Towson, Yale, Brown
Why else should you try to catch a UNH meet? Local gymnast Courtney Thompson is featured on their roster this year!
Check out her bio here
College gymnastics meets from around the country are also televised on various networks throughout the winter and spring! Check your local listings!
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
About the Author
Coach Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!