Shutting down? Gymnasts ask for their sport to stay


Kristen Tompkins

Serena Womack, sophomore, chalks up for her bar routine at a varsity gymnastics meet Sept. 20.

Max Stoneking, Co-Editor

The gymnastics program might not be tumbling out of schools after all.

At the end of the 2015 season the Olathe School District closely examined the four gymnastics programs, noticing a decline in student participation, so they recommended that each high school cut gymnastics.

After negotiation with gymnasts, parents and coaches, gymnastics was then granted another season. This season, the district came back with the same recommendation. According to Tim Brady, district athletic director, there are currently only 28 gymnasts across the four Olathe high schools.

Despite some reports from local news stations that claim the Olathe district planned to decide gymnastic’s fate this November, after what was supposedly going to be the close of the final gymnastics season, district officials have obtained “valuable input” from coaches and athletes, as stated by Brady, that has pushed the process back for further examination.

‘The district is taking additional time to study the best course of action, if any,” Brady said.

Kristin Ramshaw, head coach, agrees that additional time is necessary. “There are many important points to look into, and the district wants to make a well thought out decision,” Ramshaw said.

There was an outcry from parents and athletes when they were informed that gymnastics may be discontinued.

“It [pleading to keep the program] worked out well and they took it into further consideration,” Alaina Urman, sophomore, said.

Most of the input that was given sought to explain why gymnastics should stay and how much the sport means to the athletes.

“They saw how much we cared about gymnastics,” Alexis McGhee-Dinvaut, senior, said.

The district’s decision to hold off on discontinuing gymnastics gives the athletes and Ramshaw a good feeling that they did enough to keep the gymnastics program alive.

“It is my hope that they will reconsider the decision and keep it in the future. Everyone should see how amazing these gymnasts are and how hard they work for their teams,” Ramshaw said.