Fisk University’s women’s gymnastics team got a boost recently from an unexpected source: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award winner Jennifer Hudson.
The team caught the attention of Hudson, who is hosting a new U.S. daytime talk show, after a video of their first-ever practice went viral on TikTok in August, and they appeared on her new show Monday (19 September).
“I love making TikToks, so I was just like let me just post this first practice…I didn’t expect it to blow up, and then, everyone was like, ‘Can I repost your video?’ And, now we’re here!”– Zyia Coleman
“Did any of y’all expect it? Did you not realize the magic and the power of what you are doing?”– Jennifer Hudson
The segment ended with a surprise: a check for $25,000 to support the team.
The Fisk University squad is the first HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) to sponsor gymnastics at the collegiate level and is expected to make its competitive debut in the upcoming 2023 season.
Former U.S. national team member and University of Georgia women’s gymnastics stand out Corrinne Wright Tarver is the team’s head coach. Wright Tarver made history in 1989, becoming the first Black gymnast to win the NCAA all-around title.
She was also part of UGA’s 1987 and 1989 NCAA championships winning squads. In addition to her duties as head coach, Wright Tarver also serves as Fisk University’s athletic director.