BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College President Dr. Jamie Caridi and Director of Athletics Brian Sansom have announced Acrobatics & Tumbling as the College’s 22nd intercollegiate varsity sport beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.
Acrobatics & 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.
Nationally, Bethany became the 55th member of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) and the 10th NCAA Division III program. “Bethany College has a rich and substantial history of promoting women in sport. There is substantial momentum for Acrobatics & Tumbling across the nation, which makes this an ideal time for Bethany to create more competitive opportunities for highly competent and capable female student-athletes. Research shows the profile of students who participate in Acrobatics & Tumbling is one that includes a record of high academic achievement and substantial engagement in all aspects of campus life. We look forward to welcoming this new generation of women to achieve their highest potential both inside and outside the classroom,” says Caridi.
“We are excited to be able to enhance our opportunities for women to pursue their academic and athletic goals in the emerging sport Acrobatics & Tumbling,” says Sansom. “The sport has shown significant growth in the last few years, and we are thrilled to expand athletic opportunities for female student-athletes on campus.”
Bethany College 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’re excited to welcome Bethany College to the Acrobatics & Tumbling community,” says NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook. “We look forward to working with Brian Sansom and his team at Bethany to implement their new program.”
The National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) is the governing body for Acrobatics & Tumbling. The NCATA exists to provide leadership, governance, and education for the sport of Acrobatics &Tumbling at the collegiate level based on fair and safe athletic competition while continuing to expand varsity opportunities for female athletes at the collegiate level.
“Every new program addition provides unique opportunities for young women training in gymnastics and cheerleading to compete at the collegiate level while they pursue their academic goals,” adds Cook. “Bethany College becomes our tenth NCAA DIII institution to sponsor Acrobatics & Tumbling and we continue to see interest across all NCAA divisions. The next two years are going to be incredibly exciting as we near our goal of becoming eligible for NCAA championship status and elevate the sport to the next level.”