Grambling looking to become first HBCU to offer women’s gymnastics

Grambling State University is exploring becoming the first historically Black college to offer women’s gymnastics. In July, Grambling hosted 100 black and brown gymnasts for the Brown Girls Do Gymnastics annual conference.

Brown Girls Do Gymnastics, founded by Derrin Moore, is an advocacy organization striving for more diversity and inclusion in gymnastics. The conference focused on athletic development, training and more opportunities to support athletes from underrepresented and marginalized groups.

“Our rich history of athletic excellence and Black firsts makes GSU the perfect home for the first HBCU competitive gymnastics program,” said President Rick Gallot. “The need is clear, and we are motivated by the opportunity we can provide for young gymnasts of color.”

Moore explained why it is important for there to be gymnastics programs at Grambling and other HBCUs.

“There’s something magical about being on an HBCU campus whether you’re an alum, student or fan,” said Moore. “We want our gymnasts to have a chance to experience that while continuing to compete in the sport that they love.”

Previously, four BGDG Conferences have been hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, with the last one in 2020 being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Grambling, the BGDG conference is the first step toward introducing this program to the school. It is also a chance for Grambling to be an example to other HBCUs considering women’s gymnastics.

The success of Olympic gymnastics champions such as Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas has raised the interest in the sport in Black communities. As the interest continues to rise among Blacks, it would be a great opportunity for HBCUs to give young girls a chance to further their athletic career.

Currently, there are no gymnastics programs at HBCUs but hopefully, with the right support, there will be one at Grambling State.

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GSU played host to the Brown Girls Do Gymnastics annual conference this summer, the first step in bringing a women’s gymnastics program to campus.