Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, has announced that it will debut a women’s gymnastics team during the 2022-23 academic year. Fisk will be the first historically Black college or university to have a women’s gymnastics team.
In a statement, the university said that “in recent years, the university has focused on increasing its athletic profile considering the growing interest among student-athletes for an elite HBCU experience. Student-athletes depend on an institution that enables them to translate their unique skills to professional success.”
The university has already begun securing scholarship funding for these future student-athletes in gymnastics. Fisk also plans to host several conferences, clinics, and invitationals in partnership with organizations like Brown Girls do Gymnastics.
Over the past decade, the percentage of African Americans in women’s gymnastics at the NCAA Division I level has increased from 7 percent to 10 percent. The remarkable success of African American gymnast Simone Biles, the winner of seven Olympic medals, will undoubtedly be a catalyst for increasing the presence of African Americans in the sport.