INDIANAPOLIS, May 8, 2014 – At its recent meeting, the National Gymnastics Foundation allocated up to $300,000 during a three-year period to be devoted to strengthening men’s and women’s collegiate gymnastics at the varsity level. The criteria, the process for submitting requests, and the vetting mechanism for this initiative are expected to be in place by this fall.
“ We want to do everything we can to help varsity gymnastics programs succeed,” said Robert Wood, NGF chairman. “Providing resources is an important part of helping to sustain existing programs, creating new programs or converting existing club teams into varsity programs. Collegiate gymnastics is the goal of many young athletes and we are prepared to assist and invest in a stable environment for future success and growth.”
“Gymnastics continues to grow in popularity among young people throughout our country," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "This is another proactive step that USA Gymnastics and the National Gymnastics Foundation can take in partnership to recognize the importance of collegiate gymnastics. We have provided support in the past, are continuing to do so, and believe that making additional financial assistance available will serve as a catalyst for more forward progress.”
The NGF Board identified three objectives for this effort: 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.
“This initiative creates a mechanism to do more as we go forward,” said Wood, who previously served as a member of the NCAA President’s Advisory Board and was a student-athlete at the University of Michigan. “We believe that we will be better able to build resources and encourage others to participate after taking this step, along with the other actions being taken by USA Gymnastics.”
“ USA Gymnastics frequently finds itself looking for solutions and having the NGF as a partner provides an important element of helping our collegiate programs,” said Penny. “As a national governing body, we need to assist existing programs become financially stable and/or create programs. We have always found that we can succeed when we work in partnership with other organizations.”
The National Gymnastics Foundation was created by the organization’s leadership from the financial windfall distribution from 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. Currently, the holdings of the NGF exceed $11 million.
In addition to Wood, the members of the NGF Board of Directors are: Rita Brown, George Drew, Nastia Liukin, Jeff Metzger, Dominick Minicucci, Bruno Klaus, Conrad Voorsanger and Sallie Weaver.