HBCU Fisk University’s gymnastics practice goes viral on TikTok

A video of the 156-year-old university’s inaugural gymnastics practice is nearing 750,000 views and has amassed over 220,000 likes on TikTok as of Sunday. 

Loading the player...

HBCU Fisk University’s first-ever gymnastics team has yet to compete in an official meet, but one practice was all it took for the now-viral high flyers to win over the internet. 

A video of the 156-year-old university’s inaugural gymnastics practice is nearing 750,000 views and has amassed over 220,000 likes on TikTok as of Sunday. 

The clips showcase student gymnast Zyia (@zyiaalexys on Tiktok) and her talented teammates springing, flipping, and spinning into the history books as the first intercollegiate women’s gymnastics program not just at Fisk, but among all historically Black schools nationwide, per the university.

Announcing its plans to launch the team in February, the Nashville, Tennessee-based university emphasized its recent focus on “increasing its athletic profile considering the growing interest among student-athletes for an elite HBCU experience.”

“Woman’s gymnastics exemplifies the values of Fisk University: determination, excellence, and a commitment to a more just and equitable future,” the announcement read. 

Frank Simmons, a Fisk trustee, led the charge in jump-starting the initiative to add women’s gymnastics to the school’s list of athletic programs and provide more scholarship opportunities for student-athletes, according to HBCU Legends.

In March, the team announced it would be head coached by Corrine Tarver, who became the first Black gymnast to win an all-around championship in the National Collegiate Athletics Association while at the University of Georgia.

“Sometimes gymnasts that are Black and Brown are looked at as not having the ideal body type, or they don’t have the right lines or things of that nature,” she told NewsOne. “So if they are not the superstars, they have a tendency to get overlooked a little. This is an opportunity for them to have a place because I understand how that feels, and I invite those girls to come on our team.”

Fisk University thegrio.com
Fisk University campus (Courtesy of Fisk University)

The team will begin competing across the country at independent gymnastics meets in January 2023 as part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), as reported by WAFB 9. They are also eligible to compete against any school across Divisions I, II, and III, per the Tennessean.

Practice sessions will be held at the Nashville Gymnastics Training Center as the team prepares for a series of five fall events, as reported by the outlet.

“We are really excited about this historical event,” Athletic Director Dr. Larry Glover told HBCU Legends. “Fisk has always lead the way regarding HBCU milestones. We continue to do so today.”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! 

Loading the player...