As a Detroit native, I benefited firsthand from the city’s athletic programs early in my rhythmic gymnastics career as a product of the Detroit Recreation Center. Now, as the city undertakes massive revitalization efforts, it’s more important than ever to make sure that those efforts include programs for the city’s youths.
Gymnastics, as a nontraditional sport, allows children the possibility to participate and move up more quickly than in super-competitive sports such as basketball and football. It also has numerous long-term benefits, and this expansion is a long-term investment in the demographic that needs it the most—and is often overlooked by developers during urban redevelopment. It is our hope that WHGF’s presence in Detroit will expand opportunities for children for years to come, just as it has for thousands of youths in Harlem.