The Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association has gathered champion coaches and supporters to create the Collegiate Gymnastics Growth Initiative (CGGI). This initiative aims to educate administrators, donors, and alumni of various universities about the importance of sponsoring a new gymnastics program at all three divisions of collegiate sports. The group also works to energize the general public and gymnastics community about new gymnastics opportunities, trends, and ways to be involved with the sport and its collegiate programs.
Elevate the Stage is proud to support the Collegiate Gymnastics Growth Initiative through a financial donation of $3,500 in 2020. Elevate the Stage is a weekend filled with youth and college gymnastics sessions to energize and educate attendees and competitors about collegiate gymnastics opportunities and the goals of the CGGI.
Last year, Elevate the Stage meet director Kayla Williams took some time to talk with the committee members and founding coaches of the CGGI about the initiative, its goals, and the importance of college gymnastics.
Randy Lane, Founder of Coach Randy Lane recruiting services & Elevate the Stage champion coach (UCLA, Reno 2018)
Lane: The environment of collegiate gymnastics, although competitive, is a culture of inclusion, growth, and learning valuable life lessons along the way.
The dream many years ago for many young athletes was purely the Olympics, but that dream has now shifted to competing for a university. Why? The opportunity to get a quality education as well as being a part of a team that is working towards the same goals is a satisfying endeavor for many young gymnasts.
Hansen: College gymnastics was my greatest experience as a gymnast. Being able to train, live, and compete with 15 other young women all determined to reach the same goal was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Lane: We have two divisions of our committee: financial and growth. The financial side of the committee is to grow funds through invitational support, donations, and sponsorships. Our intent is to start an endowment account that will collect interest so that we can be more prepared to help a university from a financial standpoint with start-up costs associated with adding a program. The growth side of our committee works on the all-encompassing details of making presentations to universities interested in possibly adding the sport of women's gymnastics.
Rowe: We are always fundraising. We have recently added a page to our website where anyone — group, club, or individual — can contribute to our cause!
ELEVATE THE STAGE AND THE CGGI
Lane: Elevate the Stage has been a valuable partner in promoting collegiate gymnastics. The NCAA athletes are role models for many of the young gymnasts around the country. When a young gymnast can watch their idol compete live for the first time, it is magical. The team aspect of our sport is one of the more surprising things for first-time spectators of gymnastics. To see adults and children who have never seen a collegiate meet experience the excitement and team cohesiveness, they feel included and in some ways a part of the team as well. To hear a parent thank our athletes for being great role models and for taking the time to say hello and acknowledge their little gymnast is priceless. At Elevate the Stage, because the competition is on a podium, it truly is a stage where our athletes can be entertainment for so many new fans to experience [what might be] their first collegiate competition.
FloSports helps Elevate the Stage expand the reach and exposure of college gymnastics by providing not only Elevate the Stage, but the whole sport with great coverage. Flo gives others the opportunity to stream, watch, and learn about the sport of gymnastics. By covering Elevate the Stage and other college meets, they provide others who are new to the sport or unfamiliar with gymnastics the opportunity to view these athletes’ amazing ability from a great view and perspective.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Introduce new people to college gymnastics. Whether it be through television, social media, or in person at a competition like Elevate the Stage, people who get to see the atmosphere, camaraderie, and competitiveness of college gymnastics are sure to fall in love with it.
Follow the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association and the CGGI online.
Click here to make single, monthly, or annual donations to help the CGGI continue to educate universities on the value of collegiate gymnastics.