Last week the current GAC Gymnastics Team received and email informing them that the Gustavus President Jack Ohle has assembled a special task force to look into the future of gymnastics at Gustavus. This email was vague and nonchalant way of saying that due to the program’s undistinguished past few seasons and the convenience that the program is currently without coaching leadership, the program will undergo a harsh examination. The GAC Athletic Department maintains that they “currently” have no intention to cut the program however, other sources from within the school and GAC Athletics have implied that it is unlikely that the team will continue past the 2012-2013 season. It is frustrating as not only are the girls on the team talented gymnasts; they are also intelligent and motivated student athletes who strive for excellence in the gym, the classroom, and beyond.
The Mission of division III gymnastics and the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association is to “provide the student-athlete an opportunity for post-season play that will showcase the highest level of Division III (non-scholarship) gymnastics which encourages the development of discipline, determination, and dedication; skills necessary in the pursuit of academic and career excellence.” These girls have devoted themselves to long hours both in practice and the classroom. In the community they are strong leaders, passionate volunteers, caring mentors, and all-around great people who deserve the means to continue their careers as college gymnasts.
As gymnastics is an extraordinary sport that requires years of training and commitment long before competition ever begins, and gymnasts continue using its positive principles long after the competition has ended. The loss of even one program places strain on the entire division. With the unfortunate loss of MIT’s program in 2009, Division III gymnastics’ remaining fourteen teams must work together to maintain the programs that have given them the opportunity to further their education and pursue their passion.
These girls have earned their right to continue to compete as college athletes. Please help us save the program.
Gusties Will Shine!!