A Long Way to Alden: Dieker Follows Passion For Gymnastics To Springfield College

Katie Benoit

Staff Writer

Joshua Dieker
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics

Springfield College’s rich gymnastics tradition helped bring Josh Dieker to Massachusetts. Dieker traveled over 1,200 from Oviedo, Fla., to study recreation management and become a member of the men’s gymnastics team.

There are currently only 16 NCAA men’s gymnastics teams in the country and Springfield College is the only school with a Division III program. Dieker found Springfield through his desire to continue gymnastics at the collegiate level.

“I probably wouldn’t have gone away for school if it wasn’t for gymnastics,” Dieker said.

Springfield College is also known for it’s annual Gymnastics Exhibition Show, which took place last weekend. The show has been performed for 107 years.

“It’s an amazing experience, due to it being such a tradition,” Dieker said.

The gymnast who competes all around talked about how his team almost has a culture of it’s own. As with many of the teams on campus, the gymnastics squad shares a strong bond. The team spends a lot of time together at practice preparing to face Division I competition.

Dieker came to Springfield College on a recruiting trip and liked the atmosphere of the college. He noticed that during his trip, his host was always saying “Hi” to other students and it seemed like almost everyone knew each other.

“I really liked the culture,” said Dieker. “The campus itself was welcoming.”

The Recreation Management major also fit into his interests of being outdoors and being active. Dieker could never picture himself working a desk job.

He wasn’t scared about going so far away from home but also didn’t know what to expect. Dieker had only been to the north a few times before coming to Springfield College, but he was ready to make it his home for the next four years.

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