ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University President Dr. Earl D. Brooks II and assistant vice president of athletics Matt Land have announced the addition of acrobatics and tumbling to the institution's lineup of athletic programs.
"We are looking forward to the addition of acrobatics and tumbling to our athletic department. It opens Trine to another segment of student-athletes and introduces an exciting new form of competition to our athletics and campus family," said Land.
Trine will begin competition in the 2021 season, running from February until the NCATA National Championships, which take place annually in April. The Thunder will commence a nationwide search for the programs' inaugural head coach in the coming months.
Acrobatics and Tumbling is a discipline of USA Gymnastics, with all events sanctioned through USA Gymnastics. The sport involves tumbling, tosses, acrobatic lifts and pyramids. Teams compete in head-to-head competition in meets consisting of six events, including Compulsory, Acro, Pyramid, Toss, Tumbling and Team.
"We are proud to be among the few NCAA Division III institutions to offer acrobatics and tumbling as a competitive sport," said Brooks. "The addition furthers our mission of providing a quality, well-rounded education here at Trine by allowing student athletes a new avenue for growth."
Trine becomes the first university in Indiana and 31st member to join the rapidly growing National Collegiate Acrobats and Tumbling Association (NCATA). The Thunder will become the fifth NCAA Division III institution to join the association.
"We're pleased to welcome Trine University to the NCATA and we are looking forward to collaborating with President Brooks and Athletic Director Matt Land," said NCATA President Dr. Renee Baumgartner. "They have communicated their readiness to help grow the sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling nationally, in addition to their excitement in adding these varsity opportunities for young women at Trine."
Acrobatics and tumbling serves the interests of more than 9 million young women who take part in the skill sets of the sport through youth participation in all disciplines of gymnastics or cheerleading. The NCATA continues to work with NCAA staff and the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics to reach NCAA emerging sports status, with the final goal of reaching NCAA championship sport status.
"The growth of the sport more recently has been especially exciting for some longtime members who have been so supportive through the early years," said NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook.
"The addition of Trine University marks another new DIII member this year and is in a region that benefits existing DIII members. Trine will be the second NCATA member from the MIAA (joining Adrian College) and provides additional DIII competitive opportunity for Concordia Wisconsin. We've seen how this enhances the student-athlete experience and program development in other regions, so we're very happy to see this new trend emerge."