As of spring 2022, acrobatics and tumbling will join the list of Augustana’s sports offerings, the 36th team nationwide and the first in the region.
National Collegiate Athletics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) President Renee Baumgartner said in a statement that she’s excited to welcome Augustana into the NCATA family.
“During this challenging time, all new opportunities being created for young women to compete at the collegiate level are important and exciting,” she said.
The official NCATA website describes acrobatics and tumbling as an emerging sport for women that combines aspects of gymnastics and competitive cheerleading. Six events are included in each meet—compulsory, acro, tumbling, pyramid, toss and team event—all of which are competed on the floor and in varying group sizes.
Being the first in the region means that the team will compete nationally, sometimes going to meets along the East Coast and in Texas. But when they do compete on campus, Athletic Director Josh Morton said the sport is fast-paced, high-energy and an exciting spectator sport that will be fun to host in the Elmen Center next year.
Morton said adding acrobatics and tumbling to Augustana’s roster will “add another layer of great athletes” in the athletics department. He said he hopes that more schools in the region will join the sport and that when the team is in full swing, it’s roster will have at least 40 athletes.
Although the department has not chosen a coach yet, Morton said that they are coming close to making a decision. He said thanks to Augustana’s new acrobatics and tumbling team, there is “great excitement in the gymnastics community in our region.”