INDIANAPOLIS, March 26, 2015 – In keeping with the commitment made last year, the National Gymnastics Federation has awarded five grants in support of collegiate gymnastics, including one to support the 2015 Big Ten Gymnastics Championships for both men and women.
The grants that have been approved for this season are:
- Collegiate Gymnastics Association: subsidizing the cost of the Nissen-Emery Trophy, which goes to the top senior male gymnast, and an international relations grant to promote international goodwill and cooperation in a manner that enhances National Collegiate Athletic Association visibility and advances the U.S. men’s gymnastics program.
- University of Oklahoma: funding to use an equipment podium at the 2015 Men’s NCAA Gymnastics championships.
- University of California – Berkeley: in recognition of the late Dr. Harold Frey, who helped establish USA Gymnastics more than 50 years ago, making a donation to the Hal Frey Scholarship Endowment and providing funds to replace aging equipment.
- Big Ten Gymnastics Championships: providing a grant to help support the Big Ten Gymnastics Championships for both men and women. The men’s championships is slated for this weekend, March 27-28, at Pennsylvania State University. For more information about the Big Ten Championships, go to bigten.org.
“The National Gymnastics Foundation is proud to award these grants as part of the commitment we made last year to support collegiate gymnastics,” said Bob Wood, chairman of the National Gymnastics Foundation Board of Directors. “Collegiate gymnastics is an important part of our community, and we will continue to make contributions to help sustain collegiate gymnastics.”
“USA Gymnastics also is committed to looking at every way it can support and strengthen collegiate gymnastics,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “The collegiate coaches were the driving force in creating USA Gymnastics more than 50 years ago, and men’s collegiate gymnastics has been and continues to be an important factor in the growth and development of elite gymnastics, including on the world and Olympic stage. We want to do our part to help make sure that our athletes will have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits and challenge of participating in collegiate gymnastics.”
The list of collegiate gymnasts who have competed in the Olympic Games for the United States is long and illustrious. The collegiate gymnasts who are also Olympians since the 1996 Olympic Games include: Raj Bhavsar (2008), Kip Simons (1996) and Blaine Wilson (1996-2004), Ohio State University; Kevin Tan of Pennsylvania State University, 2008; Jair Lynch of Stanford University, 1996; Stephen McCain of University of California – Los Angeles, 1996; Justin Spring of the University of Illinois, 2008; Sam Mikulak of the University of Michigan, 2012; John Roethlisberger of the University of Minnesota, 1992, 1996, 2000; and Jake Dalton (2012), Jonathan Horton (2008, 2012), and Guard Young (2004), University of Oklahoma.
In addition to Dalton and Mikulak, collegiate gymnasts currently on the U.S. National Team are Donothan Bailey and Kevin Wolting, University of California – Berkeley; Bobby Baker and Paul Ruggeri(graduated), both of the University of Illinois, Allen Bower, Hunter Justus and Steven Legendre (graduated), University of Oklahoma; Akash Modi of Stanford; and Brandon Wynn of Ohio State (graduated).
The NGF Board identified three objectives for its efforts to strengthen collegiate gymnastics: to support the growth of men’s and women’s NCAA varsity programs; to assist endowment initiatives at men’s and women’s NCAA varsity programs; and to provide grants for NCAA gymnastics programs as requested from either the NCAA or its member institutions. .The National Gymnastics Foundation was created from the energy and excitement generated by the gold-medal Olympic efforts of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Proceeds totaling $1.4 million from the 1984 Olympics were used to establish the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The mission of the National Gymnastics Foundation is to provide for the sustainability and promotion of the sport, and support the ongoing education and outreach efforts of USA Gymnastics through the preservation and growth of its assets.