Dec. 7, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The two-time defending NCAA Champion Alabama gymnastics team took time out from its normal practice routine to host nearly 100 children from the Stallings RISE Center for its annual Christmas party in the Frances Smith Practice Facility Friday afternoon.
"Every year, as the stress of the fall semester and final exams starts to build, our ladies take time out for this wonderful event," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "Everyone looks forward to it so much and it just puts a huge smile on everyone's face."
Patterson and the Crimson Tide have joined with RISE for a Christmas party for more than 20 years and have hosted the party in the UA practice facility since it opened in 1996. As always, the gymnasts and RISE students were joined by a very special guest when Santa Claus made his way to Coleman Coliseum and the practice gym.
"To have the chances to spend this time with the children from RISE is such a joy," junior Lindsay Fowler said. "Not only to see the happiness it brings them, but also to be able to see their development year-to-year, means so much to us."
The gymnasts start exams next week and will train for a few days after exams are over before heading home for Christmas break. The Tide's 2013 home season gets underway Friday, Jan. 18 against Southeastern Conference rival LSU. Season tickets can be purchased online at RollTide.com and through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262).