SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union Catholic's Noah Dhaliwal was recently rewarded for his excellence in the classroom, as well as his exceptional talent as a gymnast with a USA Gymnastics Academic All-American Recognition award. The award was established in 1986 by Robert Cowan, a former USA Gymnastics Men's Program Director, to encourage a high level of academic achievement in young athletes in addition to their athletic achievements. The award honors athletes' development of values, morals, and social skills.

In order to be eligible for the USA Gymnastics Academic All-American Recognition award, athletes must be a current USA Gymnastics student athlete in grades 9-12 with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. For achieving this distinction, he has been named this week's Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athlete of the Week.

"The Junior Olympic athletes  are tasked with training and competing, while also managing class work and attendance," said Lisa Mendel, the men's program manager for USA Gymnastics. "It amazes me how much these student athletes accomplish not only in the classroom and the gym, but also in what they do to give back to their community. These truly are amazing individuals."

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"I'm really proud of the hard work I did to earn this,'' said Dhaliwal, who lives in South Orange. "This is my third year earning Academic All American.This award will help me with my goal of getting a spot on a Division I gymnastics team in college.''

Dhaliwal got started in gymnastics at a very young age.

"My mother started me at 'Mommy & Me'-type classes when I was 13 months old because I had a lot of energy and was climbing things,'' said Dhaliwal, who competes for Surgents Elite in Roselle Park. "I taught myself to flip on a bar when I was two, so my parents brought me to Surgent's Elite for my first real gymnastics classes when I was three. I began competing when I was seven.''

Dhaliwal has built a remarkable resume during his gymnastics career. A member of the USA Gymnastics Region 7 squad at the Elite Team Cup in Las Vegas last month, which also included Union Catholic's Donovyn Diaz, he was the 2018 national bronze medalist on the pommel horse in his age group.  

In 2017, Dhaliwal was the national parallel bars champion, and was sixth on the still rings, and 10th in the all-around in the country for his age group. He was also the New Jersey all-around state champion in his age group in both 2017 and 2018. He competes in all six gymnastics events and considers the horizontal bar, still rings and pommel horse his strongest events. 

"I think my greatest strength as a gymnast is my mentality,'' said Dhaliwal. " I like a challenge and I'm good at looking at the bigger picture. If something doesn't come to me right away, I keep working at it. What I enjoy most is learning new skills and progressing to the harder skills.

Dhaliwal wants to take his gymnastics talents to the next level.  

"My goal is to compete as an NCAA Division I athlete,'' said  Dhaliwal. "It's hard to talk about short term goals right now because my training and the season has been cut short by the pandemic, and nationals were canceled.  I'm looking forward to being able to get back to the gym and train for next season.''

Joint Motion Physical Therapy is located across the street from the Stage House Tavern and shares a free, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Public Library. Joint Motion can be reached for an appointment by phone 908-322-3202, or email You can also learn more at

Joint Motion Physical Therapy
373 Park Ave.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
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