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Rhode Island College announced it will reinstate the school’s women’s gymnastics program for the next two academic years. Officials noted that the college will re-evaluate the program’s visibility after the 2012-13 season.
The college had announced its intention to eliminate the program in March, but the sport’s stakeholders, noting grass-roots interest and more than 2,300 signatures through an online petition, convinced administrators to retain the sport for two more years.
“I was hoping for the best, but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up because I didn’t want to be disappointed,” junior gymnast Sarah Chrane told the Providence Journal. “But this shows that if you’re passionate about something, you can make a difference, and we hope to serve as role models for other students and other gymnasts and other athletes, and to show that hard work really does pay off. The girls worked really hard to keep the team together.
“We got nationwide support. I felt like George Bailey in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ when all of the messages of support came in. Coaches and teams that don’t even compete against us were cheering for us.”
According to the Journal, Chrane and fellow captain Angela Gargano met twice with the college’s vice president of student affairs and asked that the gymnastics program be continued on a trial period, while the school’s new women’s swimming and golf teams get settled. After deliberation, that request was granted.