by Bobbie Handcock | Office of Communications
Grambling State University (GSU) will host the 5th Annual Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) Conference on July 23-25 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. GSU is collaborating with The Doug Williams Center and the Ruston Lincoln Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to host the event which features a gymnastics invitational and exhibition.
The conference aims to increase exposure and access to gymnastics among girls and women of color, provide mentorship to young gymnasts, and offer resources and information for parents, said BGDG founder Derrin Moore.
Headquartered in Atlanta, BGDG’s mission is to increase access and expand outreach in the sport of gymnastics, she said, adding that she’s thrilled about the upcoming conference.
About 100 workshop attendees are expected and about 40 participants are scheduled to perform in the invitational and exhibition.
“I’m excited and hopeful that it will bring to light that we’re in this space and accessibility when it comes to gymnastics,” Moore said. “People are just happy about getting together with other black and brown families and girls from 23 states.”
During the workshops, parents will learn the ins and out of gymnastics, recruitment, sports injuries, and more. Gymnasts ages 6 and up will learn advanced gymnastics and acrobatic techniques. They will also be able to participate in a goal-setting workshop, artistry workshop, a self-defense class, and more.
“This is our very first invitational and we will have teams from Metroplex Gymnastics in Texas and Powermoves Gymnastics in New York,” Moore said.
The sanctioned, judged competition will feature the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercises.
The exhibition will also feature Representative Team members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) along with former and current collegiate gymnasts.
“It will be a fun show. They will be displaying dynamic skills.” Moore said, explaining that the women will demonstrate strength, flexibility, and agility on and off the floor.
“We are urging people not to show up without a ticket,” Moore said, adding that attendees must wear masks and practice social distancing.
Those who cannot attend the Sunday activities can support BGDG by making a donation or buying a cutout to fill a seat in the arena. For more information, visit
The sport of gymnastics continues to produce Olympic qualifiers of color and there is an increasing need to provide platforms for those who will come after them. Grambling State University has expressed an interest in initiating a gymnastics program – helping young gymnasts realize their academic and acrobatic dreams.
“Because of our rich athletic history, GSU would be the perfect place to launch the first competitive gymnastics program at an HBCU,” said President Rick Gallot. “With the support of partners and sponsors, we want to bring the sport on our campus and build a platform for the next generation of athlete scholars.”
About Brown Girls Do Gymnastics
Brown Girls Do Gymnastics is an advocacy organization helping to guide Brown Girls through their acrobatic careers while promoting diversity in the sports of gymnastics and circus. Founded in 2015 by Derrin Moore, BGDG hosts conferences across the country to increase exposure and access to gymnastics and acrobatics for girls and young women of color. The organization has partnered with USA Gymnastics and Coppin State University among others to spread awareness and elevate the social causes of racial equity and sport access.
Tickets still available for Gymnastics Invitational and Exhibition on Sunday for in person, pay-per-view
About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System.
About The Doug Williams Center
Founded in 2020, The Doug Williams Center exists to build an ever-growing network of solutions for diversity and inclusion in collegiate and professional sports. The Center is a learning commons and advancement space for audiences to examine the history of race and politics in American sports and build holistic perspectives on the cultural impact to provide resources for ongoing social progress. With the support of its esteemed Advisory Board and multi-disciplinary academicians, the Center offers thought leadership and practical resources to sports industry entities. A hub for academic research and development, The Doug Williams Center is an affiliate of Grambling State University.
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