Fisk Gymnastics Hosting New Year Meet Celebrating Diversity

Six head coaches are coming together for a monumental union

The Fisk University gymnastics team is making history again on January 15, 2024, as the school gears up for the unification of six Black women head coaches for a competition. The gathering will be held at Vanderbilt University’s Memorial Gymnasium. Through this event, attendees will see history as representatives from Brown University, Iowa State University, Rutgers University, Talladega College, and William & Mary University come together for a groundbreaking moment.  

In January 2023, the Fisk gymnastics team made history by becoming the first HBCU to participate in the NCAA championship. “When I was doing gymnastics, I knew it was significant, but I didn’t grasp how big it would be,” Fisk University gymnastics coach Corrinne Tarver told GU. “I knew it would be big, but not like this.” 

A year later, the decorated HBCU team is bridging the gap between various schools and highlighting the importance of inclusion in gymnastics. “When Talladega announced they were adding a team and Iowa State hired Ashley Greig, I realized this was a historic moment,” Tarver says. 

Read ‘Fisk Gymnastics Team Opens Up About Making History For HBCUs’

The competition is intentionally happening on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to showcase the progression happening for NCAA Women’s Gymnastics. “I approached each coach and pitched the idea of having a historic competition featuring every African American coach on the floor together,” Tarver says. “The idea has been embraced by everyone involved. I cannot say enough about Vanderbilt University and my colleagues at Fisk for all they have done to make this dream a reality.”

This special occasion not only gives the next generation an example to look at but also helps the general public see that there is power in numbers for HBCU sports. According to data, name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals grew 146 percent overall in 2022-23. The conversation around collegiate sports continues to grow and serve as inspiration for Gen Alpha as they get older. 

“This historic meet is a powerful testament to the incredible progress we are making in the sport of gymnastics,” says Fisk University President, Dr. Agenia Walker Clark. “I am profoundly honored to witness this momentous occasion, and I encourage everyone to join us in cheering on these remarkable young women as they take flight on the gymnastics floor.”

About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view. 

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