SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was announced by American International College (AIC) Vice President of Athletics, Lou Izzi and Director of Athletics, Jessica Chapin that Acrobatics and Tumbling will be added as a varsity sport beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.
An NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, Acrobatics and Tumbling is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics in combination with the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading, with competitions held during the spring sports season.
“There is significant momentum for Acrobatics and Tumbling across the nation, particularly throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which makes this an ideal time for AIC to create more competitive opportunities for our female students,” said Izzi. “I am excited to hire our first coach and build our first team. I also look forward to seeing our team compete because I believe this will be an exciting spectator sport for our campus community.”
There are currently 52 NCAA institutions that sponsor the sport, which includes 35 at the Division II level. According to a release sent to 22News from AIC, Acrobatics and Tumbling will be eligible to begin the legislative process for NCAA championship status following the 2024 season when forty Division II programs are expected to meet NCAA sport sponsorship thresholds for participants and competitions.
“We are excited about the continued growth within our athletic department,” added Chapin. “We’re proud to offer the opportunity for talented student-athletes to pursue Acrobatics and Tumbling at the collegiate level here at AIC and look forward to being a part of the continued growth of this sport.”
To prepare for the teams inaugural season in spring 2025, the college plans to hire a full-time coach by summer 2023 to recruit and build a competitive roster.