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Drugs & Health Blog

Gymkana—An Awesome Way to Steer Clear of Drugs and Alcohol

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The NIDA Blog Team

One of the best ways to escape the pressure to drink alcohol or take drugs is to hang out with people that don’t use them. If you think no one shares your desire to live a healthy life—think again. You just have to know where to look.

Gymkana is a great example.

Located on the campus of the University of Maryland, this group of college students practices and performs gymnastics all around the country. Gymkana is a voluntary club—and there are no “cuts.”  Anyone can join, whether they have done gymnastics before or not—most have not! Their act includes 20 modern and traditional gymnastics performances, such as aerial silk, dance, trampolines, partner balancing, rings, pommel horse, and uneven bars. 

Members belong to a variety of majors—engineering, pre-med, sociology—and all pledge to remain 100% drug and tobacco free all year, and completely alcohol free during Gymkana’s season. About 1 person a year has to leave the team for not keeping their pledge.

Gymkana’s mission is to promote drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free living through example. Members take this mission to heart because they perform at local schools and host weekend and summer gymnastics camps for kids and adults. 

To help support members, the team has fun activities every weekend—like going to basketball games, bowling, camping, or hosting a movie night. And every week the group comes together to share “testimonials” about their participation. Many members say they love the fact that there is no pressure to drink. Others admit to struggling with alcohol and drug use and credit Gymkana for helping them find a positive environment and making their college experience successful.

Hats off to you Gymkana! Check out some videos of recent Gymkana performances.

In the comments section, tell us about the after-school clubs that help keep you drug free.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


is good
I personally am someone who does not choose to drink or do drugs, as someone who is in college i can get judged very quickly. However, i am not the only one and surround myself with people who either dont also or who do but understand and dont mind at all that I do not. If someone wont hang with out because you dont drink or do drugs they arent a good friend and someone you shouhldnt be around in the first place.
This is not only a positive way to enforce an oath to remain sober in a group of people but it also allows students to realize a more productive side of life rather than turning to an unhealthy alternative with an environment that can be filled with obligations or pressures. This provides a place for kids who don't condone or participate in these substances can enjoy an environment where they feel they have a place.
I think this idea is awesome because it gives students another option/distraction to keep them away from durgs and alcohol, but considering that it's college it might be a little easier said than done
I love this idea! It is very smart and helpful! The best thing is you are getting excercise!
I think that this group is amazing in providing a place for support against drug use. It gives a constant environment where you don't have to worry about being pressured to do something you don't want while giving you the chance to get in shape.
this idea is really cool !!!
I would like to try this.