The Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation hosts The 9th Annual Harlem Gymnastics Invitational, Gathering 800+ Athletes

February 13, 2024

The Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation (WHGF) is proud to announce the return of its Harlem Gymnastics Invitational(HGI) for the 9th year, taking place from Friday, February 23 to Sunday, February 26, 2024.

The competition will feature all levels of gymnasts competing in Girls’ Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, and Trampoline & Tumbling.

Over 800 gymnasts aged 7 to 18 representing New York and the NYC Metro Area, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania will compete in Harlem, marking a large increase from last year’s invitational. Amongst the competitors will be 50 WHGF students, including 7 gymnasts from WHGF Detroit.

New this year, HGI will have an inaugural “New York City Gymnastics Championship” where gymnastics participants who are residents of the five boroughs will have a chance to become a New York City Champion. In addition, as part of HGI, the foundation will again host its signature “Showtime in Harlem” competition, where over 100 WHGF students and champion athletes will highlight the foundation’s mission and perform exciting routines on Saturday, February 25th at 4:00 PM. WHGF athletes BJ Mensah, ZaQuae Carter, and Aries Wickham will be some of the international competitors competing amongst the group.

“Every year, we look forward to hosting our annual Harlem Gymnastics Invitational as an opportunity for our athletes and athletes across the city and country to showcase their skills and compete in our hometown of Harlem,” said Wendy Hilliard, Founder and CEO of the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation.  “With the event being free to the community, we hope to see visitors throughout the weekend, cheering on all of our talented gymnasts.”

The Harlem Gymnastics Invitational is a signature event for the WHGF that started in 2014 as a way to bring together all the disciplines of gymnastics. The event is made possible through sponsors including Aquafina, Gatorade, and Cliff Bar.  

Each day, doors to the HGI open to the public from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and food and merchandise vendors will be on-site for visitors to enjoy. Spectators must fill the entry form provided here.

The Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation’s mission is to empower the lives of young people from underserved communities by improving physical and emotional health through the sport of gymnastics. WHGF was founded in NYC in 1996 and expanded to Detroit in 2016, in Wendy Hilliard’s hometown. Throughout its 25+ year history, WHGF has served over 25,000 youth. Funds raised at the HGI will help keep the sport of gymnastics affordable and accessible to urban youth through scholarships and low-cost programs.

For more information on the Harlem Gymnastics Invitational, visit

Wendy Hilliard & The Wendy Willard Gymnastics Foundation

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Wendy started gymnastics at age 12. She trained through the Detroit Recreation Department with coaches from the former Soviet Union. She was the first Black athlete to represent the U.S. in international competition in rhythmic gymnastics and competed in three World Championships. In 2008, she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She was President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and coached 1996 Olympian Aliane Baquerot Wilson. Following her competitive and award-winning experience as a world-class athlete and coach, Wendy recognized the lack of gymnastic opportunities among urban youth, which inspired her to launch the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation.

The WHGF is a pioneering, black-led organization, trailblazing the path for international gymnastic champions. As a nonprofit, its unparalleled legacy lies in offering support and opportunities to youth through gymnastics. Often likened to an “HBCU” for gymnastics, it distinguishes itself through the diversity and excellence of its staff. Moreover, it’s remarkable for introducing thousands of underserved youth to gymnastics, enabling some to achieve incredible heights in a sport typically not located in urban centers.

The Foundation serves urban youth between the ages of 3 to 17. At WHGF, young gymnasts learn about time management, responsibility, teamwork, leadership, and sustainable health habits.

For more information, please visit

Photo credit: WH.

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