In September, the University of California, Berkeley announced its decision to drop men’s and women’s gymnastics, along with baseball, women's lacrosse and rugby, as varsity sports after the 2010-11 season. Cal Gymnastics Forever, which has spearheaded the effort to keep gymnastics at UC Berkeley, is mounting a final push to have gymnastics reinstated, and they are joining efforts with the three other sports in jeopardy. Cal Gymnastics Forever has until Jan. 31, 2011, to solicit pledges of financial support, and it needs backing from the entire gymnastics community if this effort is to succeed.
Collegiate gymnastics is a vital component of our sport. Sustaining the men’s and women’s programs at UC Berkeley, and other institutions, is becoming an increasingly important priority nationwide. The goal of earning a scholarship and competing in collegiate gymnastics is a strong motivating force for the many gymnasts across the country.
Cal Gymnastics Forever’s fundraising goal is two-fold. First, they must generate $1 million in pledges by Jan. 31. Collectively, baseball, women’s lacrosse and rugby have already secured more than $10 million, and gymnastics needs to do its part. These are pledges, and the monies will only be collected if the initiative is successful in reinstating the program. No pledge is too small or too large, and can be easily made by going online to www.calgymnasticsforever.com/letter. The plan for long-term sustainability is to raise a sufficient amount to create an endowment that would support both men’s and women’s gymnastics indefinitely.
The pledges can come from gymnastics fans, individuals, clubs, corporations, foundations and alums. Some ideas on how to help raise pledges include: host a club-based fundraiser; spread the word to former members, friends and family; include PA announcements at your local invitationals; post a note on your Facebook and other social media pages. For more information on Cal Gymnastics Forever’s efforts, go to www.calgymnasticsforever.com.
We recognize this request comes at a challenging economic time. However, history has shown how much the gymnastics community can accomplish when it works together, and we appreciate any assistance you can give to UC Berkeley.