Simpson College unveils new gymnastics program

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Amelia Schafer

Men’s and women’s gymnastics will join Simpson’s lineup of athletic programs in Fall 2022.

by Amelia Schafer, Editor-in-chief

Men’s and women’s gymnastics will be joining Simpson College’s athletics lineup in 2022, according to a Sept. 1 announcement.

The installation of the new gymnastics program will make Simpson the only NCAA institution in Iowa to sponsor men’s gymnastics and the third in the state to sponsor women’s gymnastics – after Iowa State and the University of Iowa. Simpson will also become the third NCAA Division III program in the nation to offer the sport at a varsity level and the 15th nationwide Division III women’s division. 

The college partnered with USA Gymnastics and the PICTOR Group to complete the new addition of the new program. 

“Not everybody has this,” Athletics Director Marty Bell said. “That’s what makes us distinct. There are not enough opportunities for young student-athletes, and they’re looking for places to go.”

The addition of the gymnastics program will allow Simpson College to compete with some of the largest colleges in the nation. 

“Whether you’re Division III Division II or Division I, there’s just one championship,” Bell said. “I think that’s exciting for our college – it’s exciting for the students who are participating, and it’s exciting for the students who get to watch.” 

The addition of gymnastics is part of a wider plan of new athletics programs that the college is planning to unveil later. 

“I think this will allow us to diversify our student population even more – it’s an opportunity to bring different people to the table,” Bell said. “So I think that’s always a good thing. We’re a welcoming campus, and this is just another avenue to allow that to happen. 

Bell stated that the equipment would be housed off-site in Indianola or South East Des Moines, but competitions will be held on campus.  

“It’s all part of the strategic vision to grow,” Bell said.