NAIGC Nationals is for everyone! Don't require qualifications.
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The NAIGC has started plans to require qualification to NAIGC Nationals in the near future. This directly goes against the NAIGC motto, "For the love of the sport." Further, it is exclusionary to smaller teams, will greatly increase the cost of being a part of the NAIGC, and discourage new membership.
NAIGC is not USAG, NAIGC is not NCAA, we cannot allow our relaxed and fun gymnastics competitions to become a cut-throat environment. Our club, and many of the clubs in the NAIGC have members who have been competing in this sport for over ten years. The members who have lived through USAG rules and regulations see NAIGC as a fun and welcoming way to continue the sport they love without the stress of qualifications and heavy competition expenses. Future NAIGC members from USAG looking for a break from the intensity will be more likely to shy away from competing in college. Along with the USAG veterans, NAIGC is open to any athlete of any skill level, which allows people of all backgrounds to come together over the love of the sport. Taking away an open nationals competition will greatly decrease the number of novice gymnasts in gymnastics clubs and the NAIGC because it will discourage most from even trying. The NAIGC would also be excluding the members and volunteers that have been a crucial part in developing the association's acceptance of beginners. For many years, board members and volunteers have shown by example that starting gymnastics as an adult is possible, and we cannot loose that.
The NAIGC is built on college sports club teams, most of which receive little to no funding from their schools. Requiring qualification for nationals hinders our ability to make travel plans ahead of time to ensure affordable travel and school approval. Asking a club to wait until a month before a trip to schedule flights, rental cars, and hotels for a large group of active college students is not acceptable. NCAA teams have all of the planning and funding taken care of for them, but like I said before, NAIGC is not NCAA. Most athletes in NAIGC are paying for travel, meet fees, uniforms, club dues, NAIGC memberships, and practices out of their own pockets and need to have time to plan and budget. Making athletes qualify for nationals will only cause more stress to our athletes and will result in less gymnasts being able to attend NAIGC sanctioned meets. I know many of my club's members would not be able to financially justify competing at all without the promise of nationals at the end of the season.
In conclusion, requiring qualification to NAIGC Nationals will damage the present and future NAIGC community. The purpose of this petition is to show the NAIGC that a qualification based nationals will not work for our gymnastics clubs.
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