Crimson Tide gymnastics team hosts annual RISE holiday event (FREE)

By Stan J. Griffin: December 2, 2016

For over two decades, it has been one of the most anticipated and rewarding annual rites of the holiday season for the University of Alabama gymnastics program.
And a very special tradition continued for that program on Friday.
The Crimson Tide team welcomed some very special guests to the Frances Smith Practice Facility, hosting its annual holiday party for the children of the Stallings RISE Center.
"Year-after-year this is such an amazing experience," UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. "Our ladies look forward to having all this incredible energy and joy in our gym and in our hearts."
The Crimson Tide has joined with RISE for a holiday party for more than 20 years and has hosted the event in the UA practice facility since it opened in 1996.
As usual, the gymnasts and RISE students were joined by a pair of very jolly guests when Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus made their way to Coleman Coliseum and the practice gym again this year. This year’s festivities opened with a performance by the RISE bell choir.

The gymnasts start exams on Monday and will train for a few days after exams are over before heading home for holiday break. The Tide's 2017 season gets underway on the road Friday, Jan. 6 against defending NCAA Champion Oklahoma in Norman.
The Tide's home slate gets underway Friday, Jan. 13 against LSU starting at 7:30 p.m. CT. Season tickets can be purchased online at and through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262).

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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Stan J. Griffin

I am a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I currently reside and work. I am doing regular sports and feature writing for the Tuscaloosa-based Druid City Living and also am the Alabama beat writer for Crimson Magazine. I am a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama, where I wrote for The Crimson White. I have an extensive background in newspaper journalism, having served as a sports editor and reporter for the Delta Democrat Times, St. Clair News-Aegis, Andalusia Star-News and the St. Clair County News.

I also have my own sports blog site, The Sports Connection, which I partner on with a friend of mine, and we began this site in November of 2012. I write blog on a variety of sports subject, and have also had guest contributors write their own blogs for the site. I have interviewed prominent sports figures for the site, including Paul Finebaum of the new SEC Network.


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