INDIANAPOLIS, Sept.16, 2015 – This year, U.S. gymnasts and gym clubs will be joined by their counterparts in eight countries in acclaiming gymnastics through special events, fundraisers and the social media campaign “Show Your Salute Challenge” on National Gymnastics Day on Sept. 19, 2015. This year, 71 USA Gymnastics member clubs received financial grants from the Nastia Liukin Fund and the P&G/Team USA Youth Sports Fund to support National Gymnastics Day activities that promote community outreach, diversity in the sport or assisting current gymnasts who have financial challenges to stay in the sport.
“Having the gymnastics communities in eight countries join the USA in celebrating gymnastics on Sept. 19 is incredible,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Since National Gymnastics Day began in 1999, the gymnastics community’s efforts have grown into a combination of promoting the sport, local outreach, social media initiatives and charitable activities that demonstrates its dedication to gymnastics and helping children of all ages and levels of ability. We have shown how much can be done when the gymnastics family joins forces in the USA and around the world.”
2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin and 1984 Olympic gold-medalist Peter Vidmar have signed on as National Gymnastics Day co-chairs for 2015.
“I am honored not only to be a co-chair with Peter, but also to have the Nastia Liukin Fund help support programs that will either provide opportunities for kids to become acquainted with gymnastics or to help an aspiring gymnast to remain involved if family circumstances cannot support classes,” said Liukin. “Gymnastics has given me so much, and I know first hand how it can positively impact the life of a young child.”
“Gymnastics and physical activity are so beneficial for today’s youth,” said Vidmar, who is the Board chairman of USA Gymnastics. “The National Gymnastics Day outreach to children in underserved areas can make a difference in their lives and help them learn lessons that will benefit them throughout life. I am encouraged that our peers in eight countries have recognized the benefits of National Gymnastics Day and will be joining us in marking our great sport and its positive impact.”
The focus for National Gymnastics Day 2015 is fitness and gymnastics, as well as providing opportunities for children who do not have access to gymnastics. In addition to the day-long festivities planned in gym clubs, the “Show Your Salute Challenge” is set for the 19th at 1 p.m. local time for participants, gymnasts and fans alike to submit photos by using #NGD2015 when posting images on social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Prizes for the most creative photos showing his or her salute after executing a skill will be announced following the conclusion of all National Gymnastics Day activities.
The National Gymnastics Day activities planned by clubs range from providing scholarships to athletes who need financial support to remain in gymnastics to holding events that promote diversity and inclusion in gymnastics and/or community outreach to raising funds for local charities to procuring a scholarship for continuing coaches’ education through the USA Gymnastics University. Here are some of the club activities organized through grants and educational opportunities. A total of $25,000 was allocated to 71 clubs to support their initiatives.
Aim High Academy, Tulsa, Okla. Aim High, which serves a community with high poverty and low high school graduation rates, had its building destroyed by a tornado in March 2015 that devastated the surrounding area. Aim High is providing scholarships for its athletes who otherwise could no longer afford to be in the sport.
Cobra Gymnastics, Rutland, Vt. When a major company in the community had a devastating fire, many of Cobra’s students and children in the community no longer had the means for gymnastics classes. Cobra is subsidizing gymnastics class fees so the children can continue to participate and enjoy gymnastics despite their change in circumstances.
Extreme Cheer & Tumble, Killeen, Texas. The club’s gymnasts will perform for patients at McLane Children’s Hospital and then participate in a flip-a-thon to raise money for the hospital’s patients.
Fallbrook (Calif.) Gymnastics Club. The club is providing two free lessons to children from the community’s military bases to give them the opportunity to experience gymnastics.
Hand 2 Hand Gymnastics, Springboro, Ohio. Two coaches from Hand 2 Hand Gymnastics, which has mentored other area clubs, have received scholarships for acrobatic gymnastics training that will assist them in hosting clinics in the Midwest to grow acrobatic gymnastics.
Junior Olympic Trampoline and Tumbling/Midwest Training and Ice Center, Dyer, Ind. JOTTI is providing financial assistance to its diverse athlete membership that includes athletes from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who come from single-parent homes and/or those facing financial challenges.
Midland (Mich.) Gymnastics Training Center. Midland Gymnastics is holding a community National Gymnastics Day event for the entire family, with special invitations for the local Special Olympics program. Funds raised that day will go toward providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate.
The international outreach for National Gymnastics Day is a natural outgrowth of USA Gymnastics’ Global Ambassador Program, which provides gymnastics expertise to developing nations in the sport, and its involvement in the Pan American Gymnastics Union and International Gymnastics Federation. Australia, Austria, Denmark, Israel, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago are registered to participate.
Visit gymnasticsday.com for updates and more information.
Bama Bounders, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Arizona Dreams, Prescott Valley, Ariz.
Flagstaff Gymnastics, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Fallbrook Gymnastics Club, Fallbrook, Calif.
Genesis Gymnastics, Lancaster, Calif.
Gymnastics Trix, Alpine, Calif.
Stars Athletic Foundation, Monrovia, Calif.
Thames Valley, North Franklin, Conn.
Cats Gymnastics of Jupiter, Jupiter, Fla.
Intensity Gymnastics, Margate, Fla.
Panama City Gymnastics, Panama City, Fla.
Rising Stars Gymnastics, Boca Raton, Fla.
Sky High Gymnastics Training Center, Ormond Beach, Fla.
Carrollton Flexettes, Carrollton, Ga.
Chattooga Gymnastics, Marietta, Ga.
Gymnastix Training Center, Buford, Ga.
Precision South, Warner Robins, Ga.
Hawaiian Island Twisters, Honolulu, Hawaii
3D Gymnastics & Cheer, Alsip, Ill.
Dana Mannix Gymnastics, Indianapolis, Ind.
DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics, Fishers, Ind.
Dream Big Gymnastics, Portage, Ind.
Elite Gymnastics, Lafayette, Ind.
Hoosier Gymnastics Training Center, Plainfield, Ind.
Junior Olympic Trampoline & Tumbling Inc./Midwest Training and Ice Center, Dyer, Ind.
Tumbling Express, Washington, Ind.
Wright’s, Greenwood, Ind.
Eyas Gymnastics, Coralville, Iowa
Twisters Gymnastics, Berlin, Md.
Grand Rapids Gymnastics, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Midland Gymnastics Training Center, Midland, Mich.
Gym-Zzouri, Jefferson City, Mo.
Liberty Academy, Liberty, Mo.
Lone Mountain Gymnastics, Bozeman, Mont.
Mismo Gymnastics, Missoula, Mont.
Country Side, Fayetteville, N.C.
Gymnastics Academy of Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill, N.J.
Gym Magic Gymnastics, Las Cruces, N.M.
Zero Gravity Gymnastics, Las Cruces, N.M.
AcroJets Gymnastics Booster Club, Inc.- Stumpf’s Gymnastics, East Amherst, N.Y.
Gymnastics Unlimited -Orchard Park, West Seneca, N.Y.
Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation, New York, N.Y.
High Sierra, Reno, Nev.
Seacoast Gymnastics Center, Rochester, N.H.
Hand 2 Hand, Springboro, Ohio
Sokol Greater Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
Trics Gymnastics Academy, Washington Court House, Ohio
Aim High Academy, Tulsa, Okla.
Victory Gymnastics, Norman, Okla.
National Academy, Eugene, Ore.
Arcadia Gymnastics, Beaver Falls, Pa.
Berks East, Parkerford, Pa.
Gym Dandys, Washington, Pa.
Parkettes, Allentown, Pa.
Pittsburgh Gymnastics, Homestead, Pa.
Trinity Gymnastics, Gibsonia, Pa.
Capital City, West Columbia, S.C.
Next Level, Rock Hill, S.C.
Spirit Gymnastics & Cheerleading, Bon Aqua, Tenn.
Wimbleton Gymnastics Inc., Bartlett, Tenn.
Extreme Cheer & Tumble, Killeen and Temple, Texas
Faith Flip, Longview, Texas
HighPoint Athletics, Sunset, Texas
Texas Star Gymnastics, Tomball, Texas
Volonte Tumbling Trampoline and Cheer, Clearfield, Utah
Gym America, Herndon, Va.
Mountain Empire, Abingdon, Va.
Cobra Gymnastics, Rutland, Vt.
Sunrise Gymnastics, Barre, Vt.
Northpointe Gymnastics, Vancouver, Wash.
Spokane Gymnastics, Spokane Valley, Wash.