The gymnastics team at the University of Alaska Anchorage has officially reached its fundraising goal. That means the team can compete next season.
University officials announced the news last Thursday.
It’s a huge relief, said UAA gymnast Marcela Bonifasi, who will be a sophomore in the fall.
“I’m going to be able to actually compete with a team, and represent UAA and I’m just really excited and ready for next year,” she said.
Gymnastics found itself on the chopping block last year, along with UAA’s hockey and ski teams, as university officials tried to balance the budget and cut costs.
Then, the three teams were given an ultimatum: They could stay if they raised enough money in donations to cover two years of their expenses.
The ski team announced in December it had raised enough money to save itself.
And gymnastics has now hit its first-year goal: It came up with $444,000 in donations and cost reductions to compete this winter.
But the work isn’t over. The team will have to do the same by next June to be reinstated for good.
Meanwhile, UAA hockey needs to raise $3 million by the end of August. It’s about 75% of the way there.