Interviews with Acrofest Gymnasts
Name: Jacob Brown
School: Georgia Cumberland Academy
Class Standing: Senior
Name: Michael Gray
School: Andrews University
Class Standing: Sophomore
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Over this past week, Andrews University hosted Acrofest, the largest annual gathering of Seventh-day Adventist gymnasts from North America, which meets at different Adventist schools each year. This year, it was Andrews’ turn to host the event. If any of you had a chance to go see the final performance of Acrofest on Saturday night, I’m sure you weren’t disappointed. To unpack the purpose of Acrofest, I talked to two talented gymnasts to get an idea of what Acrofest meant to them.
How do you feel like Acrofest and gymnastics in general fosters a spirit of community involvement?
Jacob: I feel like it brings people together for one purpose. Especially being all Adventist, everyone is here for the gymnastics but also for Christ and to honor His name through what we do.
Michael: Well, I think that it inspires a lot of people. We had about 700 people come and watch the show. We call our mats and the area we practice at “the blue church” and what we did on Saturday is that we had a tribute to God, so I think our gymnastics can help bring people closer to God, and also bring a lot of people closer together when they come to watch the show.
How has Acrofest helped develop your skills as a gymnast, or any other personal skills?
Jacob: The people here are really great, the clinicians. They are good at what they do, and how they teach is really helpful.
Michael: I have learned to be more of a leader, especially since Andrews was hosting Acrofest this year. I had a lot of responsibilities to be able to teach certain things to people at the various different stages during the week. I have also learned a lot of new moves, especially with tumbling, just from being around other people and seeing what they are doing.
In regards to health, what kind of message do you think is portrayed by Acrofest?
Jacob: I think Acrofest helps to teach us and other people that we should improve our personal skills. For example, they teach us to be safe and to improve things such as our diet so that we can be better individuals as a whole, not just as gymnasts.
Michael: I would say Acrofest really gives a message to improve individual health. All the meals that we served for the people coming were healthy, and we did group workouts. I think that it could inspire people who are not currently able to do what we do, to get involved and improve their health so that they can participate.
How has Acrofest helped encourage any personal relationships with teammates or people from other academies or universities?
Jacob: Well, when I see the other teams I see how well they work together, and it is so inspiring. It makes me want to get in a better relationship with members of my team. I have met a lot of people from other schools. For most of the time here at Andrews, we have worked right next to other teams so there have been a lot of opportunities to make connections with people from other Adventist institutions.
Michael: I have met tons of people from other schools, and I also got a lot closer with people on my team since we all had a lot of responsibilities as the hosting team this year. Acrofest really helped to bring everyone here together.