After placing a bid, the YMCA of Coastal Georgia received the exciting news that they were selected by the YMCA of the USA to host the 2017 YMCA Gymnastics National Championship & Festival.
“It is an incredible honor to be selected to host this national competition for the fifth time,” says Joel Smoker, President/CEO of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “It speaks volumes to the level of support and involvement of our community that Y-USA continues to select us to host this event in Savannah.”
An expected 2,000 gymnasts from across the country will travel to Savannah for this annual competition. In order to compete, each participant must qualify by receiving a high enough all-around score at a USA Gymnastics (USAG) sanctioned meet. This is by far the largest meet of the season, something gymnasts prepare for all year long.
The event consists of a three day competition with an Olympic style Opening Ceremony. The competition will take place at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center June 29th – July 2nd, 2017. The Opening Ceremonies will be held at beautiful Forsyth Park, featuring dinner, entertainment and activities to be enjoyed by the gymnasts and their families.
In addition to the gymnasts, the event brings thousands of participants into Savannah and will provide an significant impact on the city’s economy. Given Savannah’s moniker as the hostess city of the South, this is the perfect location for an event of this magnitude. Participants will surely be charmed by all that Savannah has to offer visitors
“It is a privilege to be a part of an association and community with such a strong relationship with the YMCA National Gymnastics Championship,” said Carol Tanrath, Branch Director at the Liberty County/ Armed Services YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “ We feel such pride to be granted a fifth opportunity to bring this event to our community, as it demonstrates not only the level of commitment but the reputation of our athletes as they represent us each year around the county at this national competition.”
The 2017 event will be even more exciting as new competitions will be added to the event. In addition, this year will mark the first time that the Association will have two teams competing. The Liberty County/ Armed Services YMCA Gymnastics team will be competing, alongside the Islands Family YMCA Gymnastics team representing the city and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. This summer, the Islands Family YMCA Gymnastics team competed at the 2016 National Gymnastics Championships in Long Beach, California. The 14 athletes trained hard all year in preparation for the event and returned home with a final medal count of 32, including 1st All Around in the level 6 and 7 competitions.
Smoker added, “Hosting an event of this magnitude is not possible without support. I want to expressly thank the City of Savannah, YMCA of the USA, Visit Savannah and The Greater Savannah Sports Council for their continued support with the National Championships.”