NCATA Expands Membership for 2012-13 Season
Vancouver, Wash.- The collegiate sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling continues its growth with the addition of two new varsity programs at Plymouth State University and the UMass Dartmouth as announced by John Blake, NCATA Executive Director.
The UMass Dartmouth Corsairs and PSU Panthers, both hailing from the Little East Conference, will begin competition in the 2012-13 season.
Plymouth State University has supported a cheerleading team for several decades, and promoted the program to varsity status five years ago. PSU is happy to offer the opportunity for these young women to participate now in the collegiate varsity sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling that embraces the gymnastics elements of cheer, with a full schedule, complete regular season, and possible post season play, just like the other 17 varsity sports in Plymouth State University’s outstanding athletic department.
Erin Boylan is in her third year as head cheer coach at Plymouth State and is planning to transition fully into the Acrobatics and Tumbling position at the end of the 2012 season. Boylan is a graduate of Elmira College in New York and earned a Masters degree in Sports Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.
“We’re looking for student-athletes that have excellent stunting and tumbling skills,” said Boylan. “We are also looking for those who are willing to improve the skills they have.
Having a competitive cheer or gymnastics background will be vital, and we’ll be looking for student-athletes who are in great physical shape. I’m excited about this new direction.”
UMass Dartmouth is also making the jump to Acrobatics and Tumbling after being in the spotlight of competitive cheer for many years, claiming five national cheer titles since 1999.
The athletic elements of competitive cheer are acrobatics and tumbling, so the addition of Acrobatics and Tumbling as a varsity sport was a natural progression for UMass Dartmouth.
Recently assigned to the helm of the UMass Dartmouth Acrobatics and Tumbling team is John C. Gilbert. John Gilbert offers 16 years of experience coaching cheerleading, elite acrobatics & tumbling across the U.S., Canada and Europe. A certified and experienced physical education, health and wellness teacher with a B.S. in Physical Education and Exercise Science from the University of Rhode Island.
He is the current owner and head instructor at G-Force Elite in Canton, MA teaching tumbling and acrobatics to all levels of athletes from local high school and collegiate teams in stunting and sport specific conditioning.
“I began coaching right out of high school teaching camps with UCA and working with teams while still in college, until I took on my first position locally at Bishop Feehan High School and then Curry College. I continued coaching and teaching after moving to Texas and then Tennessee as it became a full time job.”
Gilbert is excited for the opportunity to continue the tradition and success of competitive cheer at UMass Dartmouth and help transition the program into Acrobatics and Tumbling.
“I feel the new NCATA format highlights the athleticism involved in the sport focusing on the technical execution of skills, including tumbling, group stunts, basket tosses and pyramids,” said Gilbert who is AACCA safety and USASF certified in levels 1-5 in all areas.