Throughout our 30+ years of service to gymnasts worldwide, GK has proudly donated, and continues to donate, millions of dollars in leotards and gymnastics accessories to the industry. This dedication to give back is not one that we take lightly. It is twofold a responsibility and an honor, for without organizations such as USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics, TOPS, East/West Championships, and smaller organization such as the Wendy Hilliard Foundation, the sport that we dedicate our lives to day in and day out would cease to exist, and so would we.
One of our most recent and prized contributions to gymnastics went to a Hall of Fame Rhythmic Gymnast named Wendy Hilliard. Wendy operates a not for profit gym, The Wendy Hilliard Foundation “WHF”, that provides free weekly gymnastics classes to New York inner city youth. Their website states, "As the first African-American to represent the U.S. in rhythmic gymnastics, Wendy Hilliard's goal was to create a program that provided an opportunity for more minorities to experience her sport. After serving over 10,000 participants the Wendy Hilliard Foundation has established an incredible track record of providing quality programming for people of all ages and abilities in the sport of gymnastics." She has even taken her athletes to the Junior Olympic National Championships, where they consistently won top honors and earned first place finishes. The WHF lady gymnasts are pictured above with GK Business Development Specialist, Erin Gettle.
This year, GK designed and donated a beautiful Imperial Purple Mystique 3/4 Sleeve Gymnastics Leotard 3457 to Wendy Hilliard's Harlem gymnasts. These leos, adorned with Silver Hologram Sequinz in a lively floral pattern, united the team at their own Harlem Invitational, where athletes competed in Rhythmic Gymnastics, Artistic Gymnastics and Trampoline and Tumbling. Most of the competing teams came from New York, but Harlem was also able to pull in some teams from New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts for this well-organized and well-received event.
The WHF guys wore a White Nylon/Spandex Wrap Around Men's Gymnastics Competition Shirt 1853 with Black and Purple Nylon/Spandex style lines along the shoulders and under the arms, and an over-sized Harlem Invitational embroidered logo on the front. Our men's competition shirts feature a boy cut leg for maximum comfort and support. GK also supplied the Harlem boys with a Men's Gymnastics Long Short 1818, in Black Nylon/Spandex.
As you can see from the photos above, the day wasn't all work and competition. It was also a celebration, of sorts, where the community gathered to honor all of the young gymnasts, their dedication and achievements, and to enjoy the day. The day was made possible through sponsorship from GK, TD Bank, Premier Physical Therapy & Wellness, Whole Foods and Aquafina. Each sponsor had something different to contribute. Thanks to Whole Foods, the coaches and judges enjoyed a delicious lunch, and many of the adults took advantage of Massage by Marta. Best of all, admission was free. The Wendy Hilliard Foundation ended the event with a 2 hour showcase of different groups from their organization putting on group and individual special performances.
If you missed the Harlem Invitational this year, it's definitely worth marking your calendar for 2015. Until then, you can be proud to shop the brand that supports all facets of gymnastics, GK.
GK. Choice of Champions.