Swafford enjoys her time as a gymnast

While growing up, moving around was second nature for Allison Swafford. She has been in “four or five” gyms in the past and she saw gymnastics as a very important part of her life.

In fact, she said it became her life.

The senior co-captain of the BGSU gymnastics team is in her final season. She is from Brentwood, TN, and specializes in the vault and floor events. This season will be her first as a scholarship athlete. She enjoys floor the most, as it “gives her a chance to play to the crowd.”

“I’ve been doing gymnastics for 14 years now and it became my life,” Swafford said. “I moved around a lot as a kid and spent most of my time in gyms when I was younger. Most of my time was spent in the gym doing gymnastics.”

She described her experiences well as she was home-schooled. Once her school work was done, Allison could be found in the gym, working on her newest routines. She credits her parents for her success and calls them her role models.

“My parents didn’t start off with much when they got married,” Swafford said. “But, I have never seen two people sacrifice so much for their family as they have.”

Swafford fell in love with the campus once she arrived here and applied immediately. After being accepted, she decided to spend her four college years here at the University.

“I knew this was where I wanted to be,” Swafford said. “The gorgeous campus attracted me at first but then I got to meet the other gymnasts and coach [Dan] Connelly. I knew I wanted to come here then.”

After walking on, she gave her best effort and “really pushed the scholarship athletes” according to Connelly.

“Allison is a very down to earth person and hard working,” Connelly said. “She is a good student and we really saw her talent on tapes before she got here. She was interested in walking on and we wanted her here.”

That time in the gym has also given her life skills she will use once she graduates in May. For Swafford, it will be the first time in 14 years she will not have to concentrate on gymnastics. Although her career in gymnastics will be over, she will be taking some very important things into the real world.

“I have learned many things in gymnastics, including discipline, organizing time and being a good leader,” Swafford said. “It teaches you to focus on the task ahead while also giving you experience in multi-tasking.”

Connelly saw these attributes and more in Swafford.

“She is the kind of girl that showed a lot of energy and loved gymnastics,” Connelly said. “She really wanted to be a college gymnast and she gave it her all.”

Her goals this year are not as out-reaching as some senior athletes. She mentioned nothing of championships or individual performances, only stating that she just wants to cherish her last few months here and enjoy what she is doing.