One of the newest members of DU Club Sports, Club Gymnastics, is one of the first first collegiate club gymnastics teams to emerge in Colorado.
Their biggest accomplishment is the number of club members. According to President Kelsey Hoag, “This year we have 5 competitive members and a ton of non-competitive members who are really supportive of our training for competitions and interested in learning new skills and facts about the sport.”
And mark your calendars, because this weekend will be a memorable day for collegiate gymnastics in Colorado. DU Gymnastics will be hosting the first ever Collegiate Club Gymnastics meet in the state on February 16th at 5:30 pm, with CU and CSU. With at least 25 competitors and 4 certified judges, it’s sure to be an exciting afternoon. Kelsey explains, “While we probably won’t benefit financially from this event, we are extremely excited to be the host and form a bond with the local teams that we can carry with us to represent each of our schools as well as the state at Nationals (which are in Minnesota this year).”
Despite their accomplishments, it is not without challenges. As with many other DU clubs, it is difficult to get dedicated members who show up to practice and pay their dues. “It’s really easy to recruit students who would like to jump on trampolines and use the facility to do gymnastics just for fun, but it is a lot more challenging to find members who are interested in the competition side of the sport that requires a larger commitment mentally and physically as well as larger dues.
“Many see the word ‘gymnastics’ and are afraid because they are uncoordinated or say they are not talented enough.” But, Kelsey emphasizes, “our club is open to ANY and ALL ability levels. This is why we have coaches: so that we can teach those with less experience new skills and tricks as well as share the love for the sport.”
The team hopes to continue its grow for years to come. How have they been so successful over the past two years? “Word of Mouth. Many of our new members have come from current members talking to their floors in their residence halls or friends in classes. In trying to expand, we have found it helpful to have a clear goal in mind. A few key questions we have thought about are: How many members do we want? Do we care about a balance between competitive and non-competitive members? How can we schedule practices that fit in with student and facility availability? The more that we can do to inform students about our club, the better – whether this be wearing our apparel, talking in classes about events, recruiting at Pioneer Carnival, or simply responding to interest emails that consistently come through.”