Fisk University Set to Host Historic Gymnastics Meet With All Black Women Coaches


by Veracity Savant

December 8, 2023

It will be held on MLK day!

Fisk University made history last year as the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to have a gymnastics team. Aimed at diversifying their sports offerings for student-athletes, the team is looking to double down on that commitment. Now, they’re set to make history again, hosting a first-of-its-kind competition at the start of next season featuring all Black women coaches, Essence reports.

“It is going to be historic…we’re going to embrace and celebrate what we have and show how we need more,” Fisk coach Corrinne Tarver told reporters. 


The Fisk University Lady Bulldogs will face off against five other teams, including Brown University, Iowa State University, Rutgers University, William & Mary University, and Talladega College, which made history as the second HBCU to launch a gymnastics team. Each of the university teams is spearheaded by Black women coaches, and the event is another way Fisk is hoping to promote diversity and inclusion in the sport. 

“[This event] could have the potential just to have a ripple effect that a lot of other institutions that may have thought about it, now I think they’ll think about it a little bit more,” said Fisk Athletic Director Valencia Jordan. 

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A post shared by Fisk University Gymnastics (@fiskugymnastics)


Jordan said the team is already excited to be blazing a trail for other young Black girls to follow, and they’re taking the responsibility of being the first in stride. 

“To know that they are a part of the group that was some of the first, I think it’s something that they’ll hold in their hearts forever,” added Jordan. 

The event will be held at Vanderbilt University’s Memorial Gym on January 15, 2024 as an official part of Nashville’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day festivities. 


Cover photo: Fisk University Set to Host Historic Gymnastics Meet With All Black Women Coaches/Photo by @FiskUGymnastics/Instagram

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