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Caldwell University has announced the addition of women’s acrobatics and tumbling as an intercollegiate varsity sport and men’s rugby as a club sport for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Caldwell becomes the first institution in the state of New Jersey to add acrobatics and tumbling as a varsity sport. Scholarships will be available for the acrobatics and tumbling program.  

“We are excited to be sponsoring acrobatics and tumbling as a varsity sport at Caldwell University in 2021-22,” said Caldwell University President Matthew Whelan. “Recently designated as an emerging sport by the NCAA, Acrobatics and Tumbling currently has over three million young women involved in club and high school programs. This market will open doors to a whole new generation of women who can benefit from our Catholic, Dominican education and increase participation opportunities for women in our NCAA programs.”

 Acrobatics and Tumbling will compete in the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) and competition at Caldwell will begin in spring 2022. Caldwell becomes the 35th NCAA school and the 37th collegiate institution to sponsor acrobatics and tumbling as a varsity sport.

 “We are extremely excited to add women’s acrobatics and tumbling to our sport sponsorship at Caldwell University,” said Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino. “We are looking forward to joining our NCAA partners to add this emerging sport as the only higher education institution in the state of New Jersey with acrobatics and tumbling. With this addition of our 17th varsity program, the Athletics Department is excited and enthusiastic about continuing to play a major role in the expansion of our university.”

Part of the mission of Caldwell Athletics is to provide a quality academic and athletic experience in order to meet the diverse needs of its student-athletes. Through the sponsorship of a wide variety of intercollegiate programs, appropriate academic counseling and advisement, as well as social support activities, the department strives to ensure the academic, athletic, social, physical and emotional growth of each individual student athlete. The addition of acrobatics and tumbling is part of this growth process for the university and meets the Caldwell University 2020-2023: Protecting the Legacy – Shaping the Future strategic goal of increasing enrollment at the institution through the sponsoring of additional varsity programs.

 Acrobatics and tumbling is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics, which includes the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The format was created at the collegiate level to address the interest and abilities of young women competing in this skill set. Individuals and small groups execute acrobatic lifts, tosses, and tumbling. Meets include six events, all of which are competed on the floor and in varying group sizes.

For men’s rugby, Caldwell anticipates kicking off next year with Rugby Sevens competition in the spring of 2022 and growing to full 15s competition as the team grows. Caldwell is currently in the process of hiring a coach and will be pursuing membership and affiliation in all of the relevant Rugby organizations and associations.

“Rugby is yet another option for students interested in continuing to compete in Rugby at an affordable, best value university located outside the city, yet still part of the metropolitan area,” said President Whelan. “Caldwell places an emphasis on our core values of Respect, Integrity, Community and Excellence, values fundamental to the sport of Rugby. I eagerly anticipate the first kick-off and as I do with all of our students and teams, watching the Rugby team excel both on and off the field.”