Auburn gymnast Sophia Groth looks to earn exercise science degree to continue career in gymnastics

February 7, 2022

Sophia Groth headshotOn the weekends, you can find Sophia Groth at a gymnastics meet – either in Auburn Arena or on the road. During the week, she’s working to stick the landing on her vault and perfecting her floor routine. But when she’s not tumbling her way into the hearts of Auburn fans, she is working to earn a degree in exercise science from the School of Kinesiology.

“I chose exercise science because I have a passion for gymnastics with the career goal of becoming a collegiate gymnastics coach,” she said. “Through the sport I have gained a lot of knowledge, and I wanted to major in something that would help me build onto my foundation. Also, there are no specific major pre-requisites when it comes to gymnastics, but I wanted to major in something that would be beneficial for my future athletes. This is also my reasoning for minoring in sport coaching.”

Groth is part of a learning community in the School of Kinesiology that she says has helped her establish a foundation for education and community.

“I made a lot of new friends from my learning community, and Professor Robin Thornburg-Brock provided a fun, supportive, and interactive environment,” Groth said. “She is also such a genuine, enthusiastic, and kind person, so I look up to her a lot. The guest speakers in our learning community provided a lot of insight into potential careers and reassured me of my career goals.”

While Groth is just getting started on her exercise science coursework, she feels confident that the School of Kinesiology will prepare her for her career.

“Although I have not taken a majority of my kinesiology classes, I have heard great feedback from teammates and Auburn alumni who graduated from the School of Kinesiology,” she said.

Sophia Groth running down mat for gymnasticsAt the gym, Groth is also succeeding. She was recently named SEC Freshman of the Week – an honor she wasn’t expecting.

“Going into every meet, my goal is to have fun, gain experience, and contribute in any way the team needs me,” she said. “I felt humbled by the recognition because I know how competitive the SEC is and how many great athletes there are.”