SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – American International College (AIC) Vice President for Athletics Lou Izzi and Director of Athletics Jessica Chapin have announced that AIC will add Acrobatics and Tumbling as the College’s twenty-fifth varsity sport beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.

Acrobatics and Tumbling, an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women with competitions held during the spring sports season, is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics that combine the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The sport involves tumbling, tosses, acrobatic lifts, and pyramids.

Currently, fifty-three institutions sponsor Acrobatics and Tumbling teams, including thirty-five at the NCAA Division II level. Acrobatics and Tumbling will be eligible to begin the legislative process for NCAA championship status following the 2024 season when forty Division II programs are expected to meet NCAA sport sponsorship thresholds for participants and competitions.

“There is significant momentum for Acrobatics and Tumbling across the nation, particularly throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which makes this an ideal time for AIC to create more competitive opportunities for our female students,” said Izzi. “I am excited to hire our first coach and build our first team. I also look forward to seeing our team compete because I believe this will be an exciting spectator sport for our campus community.”

“We are excited about the continued growth within our athletic department,” added Chapin. “We’re proud to offer the opportunity for talented student-athletes to pursue Acrobatics and Tumbling at the collegiate level here at AIC and look forward to being a part of the continued growth of this sport.”

AIC plans to hire a full-time coach by mid-summer of 2023 to recruit and build a competitive roster in preparation for the team’s inaugural season in the spring of 2025.

“We are pleased to welcome our 54th member, American International College to the NCATA,” said Executive Director Janell Cook. “AIC will be our first member in the state of Massachusetts, continuing recent growth in the northeast region. As a new program, AIC will bring new opportunities to young women training in gymnastics and cheerleading who would like to continue competing at the collegiate level as the pursue their academic goals.

“As a NCAA DII institution, we are nearing an exciting benchmark of 40 teams within DII that sponsor Acrobatics & Tumbling. As we continue on the path to reaching NCAA championship status, the goal of a NCAA DII championship is also in sight. The next few years will be incredibly exciting for NCATA members and fans of Acrobatics & Tumbling.”