HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Dec. 12, 2017 – The Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs) A National Team and TOPs B Camp concluded at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center in Huntsville, Texas, last week. TOPS in a talent opportunity program within USA Gymnastics’ women’s program development pipeline. TOPs athletes are 7-10 years old. TOPs is celebrating 25 years of success in 2017.
TOPs A National Team camp was attended by 50 athletes. The athletes participated in two-a-day training sessions and physical abilities testing under the direction of National Team Coordinator Valeri Liukin. TOPs B camp was attended by 60 athletes.
In addition to the gymnastics training sessions, the TOPs camps also include a coaches’ education component. Coaches attended lectures after each training center taught by Liukin and other members of the national coaching staff.
Physical abilities testing awards went to Avalon Campbell of SCEGA Gymnastics, who was first place, followed by Kaylee Cheek of Precision Gymnastics and Sophee El-Attar of First State Gymnastics in second and third, respectively.
GK Elite is the official sponsor of the TOPs Program and provides the athletes their TOPs 25th Anniversary leotard designed by Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez, who is a TOPs alumni. TOPs A National team members also received a TOPs 25th Anniversary warm-up donated by GK Elite.
In honor of TOPs’ 25th anniversary, there were drawings for GK Elite and Under Armour apparel courtesy of GK Elite representative June Blackman for both athletes and coaches.
Kim Riley, managing director of athlete programs, presented 25th anniversary awards from A-1 Awards to Gary Warren, National Team Training Center Director and creator of TOPs program; Tammy Biggs, National Coaching staff member; and Tami Davis, TOPs Camp Manager. Warren, Biggs and Davis have attended all 25 TOPs camps.
At the conclusion of each camp, athletes present skits and T-shirts created for their group. Prizes were given out for best skit, t-shirts and cleanest rooms during camps.
Several athletes from each camp will be receiving invites to the January invite camp. All athletes will be competing in the Junior Olympic program within their states in 2018.