My name is Bridget Hild and I am writing this e-mail out of concern for my teammates
and future URI gymnasts. As some of you may already know the URI Women?s Gymnastics Program
was recently informed that this would be our last competitive season. On Thursday, January
31st the coaching staff and the URI Team was informed of this demise. After receiving a phone
call at 10:00 am we reported to the Mackal Conference Room for what we thought was a routine
meeting. We were discussing our upcoming meet at Brown, however when our coaches and athletic
administration walked through the door the mood of our team completely shifted.
Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn sat at the front of the room accompanied by Lauren Anderson,
Senior Associates Director, Barbara Leubke, Faculty Athletic Representative, and Tom Dougan, Vice
President of Student Affairs. Thorr Bjorn began the meeting by stating that, "there is no easy
way to say this, so I will just say it. The university has decided to discontinue
women's gymnastics and replace it with Women's Lacrosse.
" Leaving us stunned and
upset he tried to explain that it was because we were not a part of the Atlantic Ten Division.
Seeing as football is a part of CCA we thought that this was not a justified reason. He then
told us that it was a Title IX issue and that the Lacrosse team would add eight more roster
spots for compliance. The final explanation was that the sport of gymnastics is dwindling.
After about 10 minutes the meeting came to an abrupt ending and the administrators left the
conference room. They left a team of twenty girls and two coaches devastated, angry, and confused
with many unanswered questions.
If any of you would like to see the official press release please visit
. I have also attached an
article written by one of our seniors and a speech that Junior Lauren Wasilewski gave at the
beginning of practice on Friday. Our schedule is also attached and our hope is that many of
you can come to not only a home meet but an away meet as well.
To prevent the demise of gymnastics programs across the nation please show your support
by forwarding this e-mail to everyone you know in the gymnastics and business communities.
There will be a petition at the entrance of every meet this year and hope that many of you can
come to sign it. Even after this terrible news the team is remaining positive about season and
we will not go down without a fight! As a non-competitive senior, I will be dedicating my time
this season to this cause. If anyone has any suggestions please contact me at
E-mails to our administrators would be greatly appreciated.
President: Robert L. Carothers - Muskrat@uri.edu
Athletic Director: Thorr Bjorn - Tbjorn@mail.uri.edu
Sr. Assoc. Director: Lauren Anderson - Laurena@uri.edu
Vice President of Student Affairs: Tom Dougan - TDougan@uri.edu
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR PROGRAM!
URI Senior Gymnast,