SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Augustana University (S.D.) today announced the addition of two sports beginning in the 2021-22 school year, including becoming the 36th program nationally to add Acrobatics & Tumbling to its sports offerings. The Viking Athletics Department also announced the addition of a men’s swimming & diving program.
The addition of men’s swimming & diving and the NCAA emerging sport of women’s Acrobatics and Tumbling are set to bring the Viking athletics offerings to 21 sports.
“A key part of our strategic plan, Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030, is to provide new opportunities for students that also help fuel enrollment growth,” Augustana University President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said. “These two sport additions do just that, and we’re excited about the student-athletes these programs will attract as we continue building momentum here at Augustana.”
“Men’s swimming and diving will be a great complement to what Coach Micko has been building on the women’s side,” Augustana Director of Athletics Josh Morton said. “It’s also exciting to add an NCAA emerging sport for women at the same time. Acrobatics and tumbling will be a great addition not only for the Augustana community, but for Sioux Falls as well, and we’re proud to be part of a university that is always looking at unique and innovative ways to grow and serve students.”
Acrobatics & Tumbling was added to the NCAA emerging sports list in August of this year after receiving backing from the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics in 2019. Augustana becomes the 36th institution nationwide to offer the sport, the 25th in NCAA Division II, and the first in the region. AU is currently a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The Viking acrobatics and tumbling team will be the 11th women’s varsity sport at Augustana.
Acrobatics and tumbling is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics, which includes the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The format was created at the collegiate level to address the interest and abilities of young women competing in this skill set. Individuals and small groups execute acrobatic lifts, tosses, and tumbling.
Meets include six events, all of which are competed on the floor and in varying group sizes.
“We are thrilled to welcome Augustana to the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association family, and honored to be part of the growth of their athletics department,” NCATA President Dr. Renee Baumgartner said. “During this challenging time, all new opportunities being created for young women to compete at the collegiate level are important and exciting.”
Augustana athletics will begin its search for a head coach immediately and plans to have the successful candidate in place to recruit a team for the spring 2022 season.
“Augustana University will be the first institution to sponsor Acrobatics & Tumbling in South Dakota,” said NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook. “We are looking forward to working with them to bring these unique opportunities to a new state and to open new doors for gymnasts and cheerleaders in their region.”