Recap: Brown Girls Do Gymnastics Hosts Camp, Conference and Invitational at Fisk University
The Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) Conference and Isla™ Invitational was hosted at Fisk University on July 19 -24 with the camp taking place through the 22nd and the conference immediately after through the 24th. Brown Girls Do Gymnastics is an advocacy organization helping to guide brown girls through their acrobatic careers. As part of their mission, they strive for more diversity and inclusion in gymnastics and circus arts. Founded by Derrin Moore in 2015, BGDG provides access, coaching, training, and other forms of support to athletes from underrepresented and marginalized groups. This past weekend marked the 6th year for the conference and camp for BGDG with both events fittingly being held at Fisk University, the first historically black college with a gymnastics team. The parents of gymnasts were able to partake in adult workshops that included: judging info, injury prevention, social media hacks for recruiting and advice from collegiate coaches.
Gymnasts of all levels visited from cities all over to participate in open training sessions with seasoned coaches. The ladies also got the opportunity to engage in social trips-exploring several Nashville points of interest and then return to campus and stay overnight at Fisk University dormitories.
Saniya Brown, an 11-year-old, level 6 gymnast from Fredericksburg, Virginia, believes that attending the conference was a fantastic opportunity for her. “Everyone I met was amazing, and it was very nice to spend time with other talented gymnasts who look like me,” she said.
Following the invitational competition on the last day, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East made a special appearance.
“We were very honored to have her there. She took the time out of her busy schedule to extend well-wishes to the Brown Girls Org as well as Fisk University. It was incredible”, said Corinne Tarver, Athletic Director and Head Gymnastics Coach at Fisk University. “The conference was a huge success. We were able to bring recognition to the sport of gymnastics as a whole and the great work that the Brown girls organization is doing!”