Fisk University’s Gymnastics Team, the HBCU’s first, Leaps Into Inaugural Season

Fisk University, the first historically Black institution to form a gymnastics team, is entering its inaugural season, and the team expects nothing less than to compete against the best.

According to College Gym News, Corrinne Tarver is entering the season with her team as a first-time head coach.

“It’s pretty humbling and exciting,” she said of her position. “It’s something that’s never been done, so I love the fact that we can make it into what we want it to be but that we’re also going to be a blueprint for others to follow.”

As Tarver sets the schedule for the upcoming season, her strategy is to expose her gymnasts to a balance of high-ranked and middle-ranked competitors.

“I want to give them the best opportunities to get the best scores, and we all know that when you compete against the big dogs, the scores are better,” Tarver said. “But I also didn’t want it to be too many of those. I wanted to have a nice mix of your high ranked ones and then ones that are more in the middle so that it wouldn’t be overwhelming every single weekend.”

“​​We’ve been doing routines, but they still have that safety net of either going into the pit or resi or getting a spot,” Tarver said in regards to how she has been preparing her team during the preseason.

According to Tarver, most of the girls on the Fisk team have never competed, so she is working to prepare them for the nonstop effort of the upcoming season.

“It’s exciting, but it’s a lot of pressure,” Tarver said. “I’m starting to see the nerves and the jitters and the stress right now.”

Tarver wants her girls to feel confident about their skills since many of the gymnasts were overlooked for recruitment for not being all-around gymnasts.

“Even though we’re small, even though we’re an HBCU, a lot of the stereotypes go along with that, that we can make an impact,” said Tarver. “We can, as a team, be competitive.”

As previously reported by BLACK ENTERPRISEFisk launched its inaugural gymnastics team last February.