New AIC Acrobatics and Tumbling Team Recruits Student-Athletes

SPRINGFIELD, MA – American International College (AIC) is looking for athletes for its new acrobatics and tumbling team. The College added the sport to its roster in the summer of 2023 and plans to start competing during the 2024-25 academic year. The team will be hosting an open tryout event on Saturday, March 9 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on AIC’s campus in the Butova Gymnasium. High school seniors as well as current AIC students interested in joining are welcome.

Acrobatics and tumbling, an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women with competitions held during the spring sports season, is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics that combine the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The sport involves tumbling, tosses, acrobatic lifts, and pyramids.

“We’re currently recruiting athletes with skills in cheerleading, gymnastics, tumbling, powerlifting, and more for our inaugural team starting fall 2024,” said Head Coach Patrick McFarlin. ‘The addition of acro and tumbling is a game changer. Since cheer is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, there are limited scholarship opportunities for those athletes. Our sport can bridge that gap,” he added.

Added to the NCAA’s Emerging Sports for Women program in 2020, acrobatics and tumbling has taken off, with thirty-seven teams competing in the 2022-23 season and fifty-five total programs in existence for 2023-24. AIC is among thirty-four NCAA Division II institutions, and the first in Massachusetts, Included on the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) list.

In July 2023, AIC Director of Athletics Jessica Chapin announced Patrick McFarlin as the first-ever Head Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach in program history. “We are excited to bring in Patrick McFarlin to start our Acrobatics & Tumbling program. He has a history of training excellent athletes and we anticipate he will help us quickly establish a successful program here at the College,” Chapin said.

“I’m very excited to be the Head Coach of AIC’s inaugural Acrobatics & Tumbling program,” said McFarlin. “it’s an amazing opportunity for many student-athletes to fulfill their dreams of collegiate athletics, not to mention it is a sport that is rapidly building in popularity and exposure. It is going to be a great addition to the student activities and another team to proudly represent AIC’s athletic prowess.”

McFarlin has worked locally in the gymnastics scene for nearly two decades with Pioneer Gymnastics and Tim Daggett Gold Medal Gymnastics. From 2018 onward, he worked at Pioneer Gymnastics as the Director of the Ninja Program and was additionally assistant girls team coach and a private instructor. He established the Ninja Program from its conceptualization to implementation, planning curriculum and class structure and managing and training the staff, while also facilitating private sessions, team curriculum, and workout plans for the program as well as the girls gymnastics team. He was also the program director and head coach of the girl’s team from 2010-2013.

At Tim Daggett, he was the assistant boys team coach from 2015-2018, developing conditioning programs, workouts, and drills for the team, as well as mental and visualization coaching. He additionally facilitated private sessions for the team. He began there in 2004 and worked until 2010 as a weekend manager, a boys team coach, and an all-star cheerleading coach, where he planned and implemented workouts, drills, and practices, and was responsible for advanced-level hands-on spotting. He was also in charge of scheduling and planning competition season.

For more information on recruitment, tryouts, or an interview, contact Coach McFarlin by phone at 413-537-0075 or email

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