When black amateur gymnasts stride onto the floor, vault, or beam, they cannot assume they will see other competitors that look like them. Acclaimed gymnast Derrin Moore partnered with Brown Girls Do Ballet to shatter this reality. The duo combined efforts to produce the second Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) Conference and Clinic 2018, scheduled for July 28 – 29, at Top Notch Training Center in Peachtree Corners, GA.
“This experience was born out of the wants and needs of the community. Parents and athletes wanted a place to develop skills that felt like home and coaches who valued them,” said BGDG presenter Derrin Moore, coach, and owner of In Flight Gymnastics and Circus. “We wanted to create a place where brown and black athletes know that the only thing that matters is excellence.”
This themed Excellence Only, two-day conference will feature workouts and information geared towards gymnasts ages 6-18 and levels 3-10, as well as experienced youth circus artists. The conference also features an HBCU Invitational. The event is designed to give young athletes exposure to some of the nation’s best gymnastic performers and coaches in an environment that empowers girls of color. That’s what attracted one mother to enroll her daughter for the conference.
“I saw a video on Instagram for BGDG and knew that I had to sign my daughter up to participate. I am excited that my daughter Nya will have an opportunity to meet and share with brown girls who look like her, compete like her and sometimes might be the only girl of color on their gymnastics team,” says self-proclaimed gymnastics mom Yvette Harris, whose 9-year-old daughter is participating in the BGDG.
Young gymnasts come to Georgia from across the country to strengthen their technique and practice with fellow athletes from other states. Moore, a past AAU Coach of the Year honoree, says, “Last year, girls went back to their gyms proud.” She promises, “This year will be bigger and better!”
“I am looking forward to the amazing coaches and other gymnasts who Nya can learn from and share her experiences with,” adds Harris. “I encourage all parents to bring their gymnasts to BGDG. I am sure that the experience will be something they remember for a lifetime.
Attendees may see something they might not see elsewhere.
“We are bringing together some excellent coaches and judges. Georgia probably has the largest number of Black and Brown judges that are members of the National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges, Moore continued. “It is important for girls to see these images. It is important for them to see girls that look like them enjoying and excelling in gymnastics. Not, just the elites Simone Biles and Gabrielle Douglas. It’s for them too.”
Beyond floor exercises, vault performances, and floor presentations, Moore asserts, “this event is about instilling self-esteem and excellence in girls of color.”
For tickets or more information, log on to www.browngirldogymnastics.com.
Zach Rinkins is an award-winning speaker, journalist, and author of I Am College Material! Your Guide to Unlimited College, Career, and Life Success (Australia Publishing). Zach connects a national audience to thought leaders, trendsetters, and decision makers through his nationally syndicated Rinkins Report. He is a respected and highly requested speaker. Find out more at www.ZachRinkins.com