INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Sept. 1, 2009 — Thousands of gymnasts and supporters around the country are expected to celebrate the 10th annual National Gymnastics Day on Sept. 12, 2009. National Gymnastics Day promotes physical fitness and gymnastics in communities throughout the country while raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network through the Tyson Fitness Challenge.

National Gymnastics Day has raised more than $1 million for the Children’s Miracle Network through the participation and support of USA Gymnastics member clubs. The Tyson Fitness Challenge, a fundraising mechanism that culminates on National Gymnastics Day, is as a program that encourages becoming more physically active and emphasizes four fundamentals of fitness – cardiovascular exercise, strength training, flexibility and nutrition. All donations raised through the Tyson Fitness Challenge benefit Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in the club or gymnast’s local area.

“USA Gymnastics is proud that in 10 years, National Gymnastics Day has generated more than $1 million for Children’s Miracle Network,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Additionally, the celebrations held throughout the United States have generated greater awareness of our sport and its many benefits to our youth, from increased physical fitness to positive self-esteem helping to build a solid foundation for life.”

A multitude of activities are planned for this year’s National Gymnastics Day, from celebrations and open houses to fitness demonstrations and cartwheel-a-thons. Some of the special activities happening throughout the country include:

  • Hershey, Pa. — Hershey Aerials setting up a fitness challenge inside the Gymnastics Center on Friday, Sept. 11, from 5-9 p.m., where kids can participate in different fitness challenges and receive a certificate as well enjoy face painting, fingernail painting, hair braiding, dunk tank, and a chicken BBQ
  • Dyer, Ind. – Patti’s All-American Gymnastics hosting a big tent obstacle course at the Dyer Hometown Celebration, where $1.00 for each course run will be collected and donated to the Children’s Miracle Network
  • Chicago, Ill. – The Chicago Park District conducting a fitness test to culminate the end of its summer Tyson Fitness Challenge classes and camps at the Avondale Gymnastics Park
  • San Jose, Calif. – Members and staff from all six California Sports Center gymnastics locations coming together at Lincoln Glen Park for a celebration from 2-5 p.m., including a cartwheel-a-thon fundraiser, team demonstrations, and six fitness challenge stations

Click here for a complete list of registered events celebrating National Gymnastics Day throughout the country. Organized by USA Gymnastics and its member clubs, National Gymnastics Day is co-chaired by 1984 Olympic all-around champion Mary Lou Retton and legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, who mentored Retton as well as 1991 World all-around champion Kim Zmeskal, 1996 Olympic team gold-medalist Kerri Strug and Olympic champion Nadia Comaneci. To see year by year results from this fundraising effort, go to For more information on the Children’s Miracle Network visit

The Tyson Fitness Challenge is a fitness initiative that encourages physical fitness through fun activities with an emphasis on strength training, cardiovascular exercise, flexibility and good nutrition. Although the structure is for eight sessions, the program may be tailored to fit the curriculum and scheduling needs of each club. In addition to becoming more physically fit, participants also have the opportunity to raise funds to help kids in need through Children’s Miracle Network as part of National Gymnastics Day.