VANCOUVER, Wash., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There is no shortage of reasons why Eugene, Oregon is commonly known as the Sports Town. Intricately located between gorgeous countryside and lush green low mountains, and topped with a big dose of 'Go-Team!' attitude, Eugene is the perfect location for a marking of a new sport.
This week will be highlighted with the celebration of the inaugural Acrobatics and Tumbling National Championships. Sports history will be made in the newly built Matthew Knight Arena on the campus of University of Oregon April 7-9, 2011.
Acrobatics and Tumbling is the country's newest sport and reflects one of the most popular skill sets for females. Also known as A & T or simply acro, it is a bit of a mixture of different sports. Having its skill set roots from cheer, gymnastics, and acrobatics, it allows the hard working athletes a new safer structure in an audience-friendly format.
It requires a huge amount of athleticism, balance, strength and skill, and most of all, team work. It is a proven popular spectator sport on university campuses.
Acrobatics and Tumbling's national program originated from six outstanding university's intuitive moves in realizing the benefits and adding this sport to their athletic rosters. In fact, the sport has grown interest across each university's region and is now increasing efforts in expanding the sport nationally.
Acro's heartbeat seems to flow from its competitive athlete culture, where en masse, six teams of well-trained, properly conditioned female student-athletes have waited anxiously to take part in the first national championship celebration.
"Being an athlete in this new sport at this level has given me an opportunity to be a part of history," states Tori Mayard, U of O senior. "I am privileged to play such an important role in sports history with the other 185 impressive athletes."
To understand Acrobatics and Tumbling in this country, one has to get to know the skill set culture. While historically known as a "competitive cheer" sport, the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association is making efforts to continue to grow the sport throughout the country by using a safer and insurable model, Acro and Tumbling.
Each university utilizes the full resources of its own athletic departments complete with academic tutors, athletic trainers, sport psychologists, and strength and conditioning coaches all under the tutelage of the hand-selected head coaches and their assistants.
"With six out of six head coaches female, we understand what it has meant to be a woman in the world of sports," says Maryann Powers, head coach at Quinnipiac University. "Other young women have a chance to reach their dreams as we continue to bring this sport to the forefront."
The student-athletes are recruited for their specific position on the team and once on campus, start the rigors of a fully supported female team on each campus. They train following NCAA sport academic and athletic department guidelines.
With each team having a travel squad of twenty-eight, the energy for this historic day has been building throughout the preseason.
The teams from Azusa Pacific University, CA; Baylor University, TX; Fairmont University, WV; Quinnipiac University, CT; University of Maryland and the host, University of Oregon will start to arrive on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, have four days of healthy competition, including awards banquet, preliminary rounds and the final crowning of its first National Champion.
Acrobatics and Tumbling continues to hold its unique place in American sport history and multiple university influences. Sport plays an important role in university life, particularly for these six trailblazing universities and especially this week. No one can claim what they created, trained for and participated in for a piece of history like they can. They have earned the right to be called pioneers.
About the NCATA: The National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association consists of six member institutions that sponsor acrobatics and tumbling at the varsity intercollegiate level. The coaches and administrators from Maryland, Oregon, Baylor, Quinnipiac, Fairmont State and Azusa Pacific created the NCATA with the goal of evolving and standardizing the sport of acrobatics and tumbling at the collegiate level and guiding it to NCAA emerging sports status.
SOURCE National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association