Grambling State University may become the first Black university to offer women’s gymnastics.
Grambling’s Doug William’s Center Marketing and Public Relations Director Raven Thissel explained its interest in having a gymnastics program on its campus. She expressed that although the road may be difficult for minority athletes– the institution wants to lighten the load.
“Our university leadership is looking at young gymnasts in our community, and realizing and understanding the path from toddler gymnastics tumbling to the Olympics for a Black and brown gymnast is arduous. How can we make it a smoother one?”
One hundred Black and brown girls attended the conference on Grambling’s grounds last weekend. The event takes place annually.
For the last six years, BGDG has been opening the path for athletes to come through to compete at an elite level.
As described on its website, the organization stated, “Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) is an advocacy organization striving for more diversity and inclusion in gymnastics and circus arts.”
“Founded by Derrin Moore in 2015, BGDG provides access, coaching, training, and other forms of support to athletes from underrepresented and marginalized groups,” it continued.
BGDG gives Black, and brown girls access to an otherwise white-dominated sport.
“It’s just giving families a little edge. We want to give them information so they can step into the gymnastics arena and be confident and advocating for their girls,” Moore told AP.
Gymnastics is primarily a female-dominated sport with about five million gymnasts within the United States, and 10% of gymnasts who compete nationally– self-identify as Black.
If Grambling University takes on offering a gymnastics program, there will be more Black excellence to come.