The Fisk University Lady Gym Dogs are set to be the subject of a new docuseries from filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper and independent studio wiip.
The team made history earlier this year by becoming the first HBCU gymnastics team to compete at an NCAA event. The new docu-series tentatively titled “Flipped,’ will follow them as they compete in their historic first season.
As per Deadline, “Flipped (w/t) will follow college gymnastics’ only all BIPOC team as they navigate the pressures of their first season while challenging the stereotypes and norms in women’s athletics. With no university gym of their own, Coach Corrinne Tarver and her gymnastics team at Fisk University, consisting primarily of first-year college students, aim to take on the best in NCAA gymnastics without mitigating or changing who they are as women of color.”
Earlier this month at the Super 16 gymnastics invitational in Las Vegas, the team placed fourth overall, and top recruit Morgan Price competed in all four individual events, earning the meet’s highest score (9.9) on the vault.
“This is the most aspirational coming-of-age sports story of the year. We have not seen this before and its happening in real time. My work as a filmmaker has always and will always be about unpacking and centering stories of extraordinary Black women as they navigate the intersection of race, gender, and class. Watching this unfold in gymnastics will be a blueprint and a lesson for equity and access,” said Riley Draper.
Riley Draper, director of “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice,” and Robin Lyon, CEO of Baller Alert Films, originated the project. They will exec produce alongside Gail Lyon, Hope Hartman, and Paul Lee from wiip, along with Fisk University.
The series will also feature the coaches, student-athletes, parents, and Fisk University administrators, as well as touch on the highs and lows of HBCU sports.
Coach Corrinne Tarver said, “I am so honored to see this story brought to light in a documentary series. Following this team as it makes history and sharing the courage and fearless nature these student-athletes bring to the mat every day is inspiring to all.”
“Fisk University has always been at the forefront of social justice and impact from W.E.B DuBois, to Diane Nash, and Nikki Giovanni. This remarkable gymnastics team continues this unique legacy by paving the way for the next generation of HBCU athletics and Black gymnasts,” Fisk University Executive Vice President Jens Frederiksen added
The Lady Gymdogs will conclude their first season in April.