Olympic gymnast coming to Oxford
● By Steven Hoffman
Ches-Co Gymnastics is bringing Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman to Oxford in the spring of 2015.
Raisman, the captain of the gold medal-winning U.S. gymnastics team, will be taking part in a fundraiser that will include gymnastics clinics and lunch on April 19. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Unite for HER, an organization that works to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls by supporting and providing breast cancer and wellness programs.
“I'm thrilled to team up with Ches-Co Gymnastics to raise both money and awareness for Unite for HER,” Raisman said in a statement. “I can't wait to meet all the young area gymnasts on April 19.”
Glenna Jordan, the owner of Ches-Co Gymnastics, said that her pupils are very excited about the opportunity to meet and learn from an Olympian like Raisman, who soared to stardom during the 2012 Olympic Games in London where she won an individual gold medal on the floor exercise and a bronze medal on the balance beam. The U.S. team captured the gold medal, and young gymnasts around the world were inspired by the Fierce Five of Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber.
“Ches-Co Gymnastics is happy to extend this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Jordan said of the visit by Raisman.
Many of the local gymnasts have already started the campaign to raise money for the event, which is how they will earn the opportunity to take part in a private clinic with Raisman. The top overall fundraising gymnastics club will earn a private clinic at Ches-Co Gymnastics on April 19. Any member of the top fundraising club collecting more than $125 will be eligible to attend the private clinic. For those who do not earn the private clinic with the top fundraising club, Raisman will host another private clinic with the top 40 overall participants in the fundraiser.
Each gymnastics clinic will be between 45 and 50 minutes as Raisman shares her top gymnastics drills, skills, and ideas for mental preparation. She will also offer some one-on-one feedback to gymnasts in attendance.
Local gymnasts will also have an opportunity to score a lunch invite with Raisman at Oxford Area High School. Any participant who raises $250 receives an invitation to the lunch with a parent or guardian. The lunch session includes the opportunity for local gymnasts to have the Olympian sign one item, to have their picture taken with Raisman, and to be a part of a Q & A in the Oxford Area High School auditorium. During the lunch, the top ten overall fundraisers sit with Raisman, with the top two fundraisers seated right next to her. Between 15 and 20 questions will be selected for the Q & A, and some of the top fundraisers will be able to ask those questions.
Fundraising for the event ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 15. Those wishing to participate need to register at http://chescogymfunwithaly.org/register. The progress of the gymnastics clubs and individual fundraisers can be tracked on the website as well.
Jordan said that the mission of Unite for HER is very close to her heart because Ches-Co Gymnastics lost a coach to cancer in 2011.
Unite for HER was established by Sue Weldon in 2009. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and began searching for information on therapies that would complement the medical treatments that she was receiving. She discovered that there was a lack of easily accessible resources for things like nutrition, acupuncture, massage, yoga, counseling, and other ways for breast cancer patients to enhance their wellness.