INDIANAPOLIS, September 16, 2016 – Gymnasts and gym clubs from the United States and nine other countries plan to celebrate gymnastics through special events and the “Show Your Skills Challenge” social media campaign for National Gymnastics Day on Sept. 17, 2016. National Gymnastics Day 2016 is focused on fitness and gymnastics, as well as providing opportunities for children who do not have access to gymnastics.
In addition to the day-long festivities at participating gym clubs, gymnasts and fans alike can take part in the “Show Off Your Skills Challenge” by using #NGD2016 and #ShowOffYourSkills when posting photos on social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The most creative posts will win four tickets to the 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions.
2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin and 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist Jonathan Horton are serving as co-chairs for this year’s National Gymnastics Day.
“It’s an honor to be a co-chair with Jon for National Gymnastics Day and promote this incredible sport,” said Liukin. “Gymnastics has given me so much and provides so many benefits to children. The life lessons I learned in the gym helped shape me into the person I am today.”
“Gymnastics has been a part of my life for 26 years, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it,” said Horton. “Not only is the sport ideal for physical fitness, but it also provides a great foundation for young people that will help them in all aspects of life.”
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, Japan, Mauritius, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Venezuela, Mexico and the Bahamas are registered to participate.
Since its inception in 1999, National Gymnastics Day has evolved into a celebration and promotion of gymnastics that includes local outreach, social media activation and charitable activities. The supported activities planned by U.S. 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.
The Nastia Liukin Fund and the National Gymnastics Foundation made financial grants available to USA Gymnastics member clubs to support National Gymnastics Day initiatives. Here are some of the club activities organized through grants and educational opportunities. A total of $27,000 was allocated to more than 70 clubs to support their efforts.
- Easley Gymnastics Training Center, Easley, S.C. — Easley Gymnastics Training Center will host a free Ninja Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 17., to kick off the gym’s new Ninja program.
- Falcon Gymnastics, Bella Vernon, Pa. – Falcon Gymnastics will host the Carnival of Fitness on National Gymnastics Day to build awareness of gymnastics, healthy and active living, and the important roles they play.
- Fallbrook Gymnastics Center, Fallbrook, Calif. – Fallbrook Gymnastics Center is hosting a Military Appreciation Day with special classes on the 17th for military families.
- Grand Blanc Gymnastics Academy, Grand Blanc, Mich. – Grand Blanc Gymnastics Academy has scheduled activities – including games, obstacle courses, face painting, balloon animals and gymnastics team demonstrations – to introduce children and their parents to gymnastics and the benefits of the sport.
- GymCarolina, Raleigh, N.C. – A special needs class for the blind is being offered by Gymcarolina with an annual fundraiser to support the activities for the blind and visually impaired children and their families.
- Head Over Heels, Ruthland, Vt. – Head Over Heels is playing host to its third National Gymnastics Day event with fun activities for the community, including barbeque, gymnastics, music, and games.
- Region 8 Gymnastics National Training Camp at University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Region 8’s Level 9 gymnasts will celebrate National Gymnastics Day by sharing their skills at the Region 8 National Team Training Camp.
- Wendy Hilliard Foundation, Harlem, N.Y. – Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation is celebrating its 20-year anniversary on National Gymnastics Day. To date, the foundation has served over 15,000 underprivileged children in Harlem. The celebration will be held at the Riverbank State Park with the USA Gymnastics Fitness Zone, performances by the competitive team members, and nutritional information and lectures.
Visit gymnasticsday.com for updates, participating clubs and more information.