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NIDA. (2015, February 23). Gymkana—An Awesome Way to Steer Clear of Drugs and Alcohol. Retrieved from

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The NIDA Blog Team
February 23 2015
A group of gymkana athletes balancing on chairs doing handstands

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.