YMCA’s Student Athletes from Around the Country Arrive to Compete in Long Beach

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The YMCA of Greater Long Beach will host the nation’s top YMCA student gymnast’s next June 29-July 3 for the 2016 YMCA National Gymnastics Championship in Long Beach, California. YMCA of the USA selected Long Beach in part due to the tremendous community support evidenced during the site visit, the quality of the venue sites for competition, the expertise and energy demonstrated by the YMCA of Greater Long Beach Gymnastics Program and its community history of providing quality sporting experiences to participants in past hosting opportunities. The event is expected to contribute 3 to 5 million dollars to the local economy in hotel, transportation, restaurant and entertainment. 

Jim Weaton, National Director of Events for YMCA of the USA stated that, “with this selection, we are sure the YMCA of Greater Long Beach and the surrounding communities will make this an extraordinary event for our YMCA gymnasts, their families and friends. We look forward to celebrating the best in gymnastics competition in Long Beach. These young people have worked very hard and their families have made significant sacrifices to see them develop and compete at this level.”

More than 1,600 gymnasts from 100-plus YMCAs nationwide will compete at the event with the support of hundreds of parents and volunteers. Although the Long Beach community has hosted other sporting events, this is the first time Long Beach will host a national YMCA sporting event. Alfredo Velasco, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, stated “Youth development and healthy living are at the heart of sports programs at the YMCA, we are proud to host this prestigious event and provide an opportunity for national, state and our local Long Beach gymnasts to demonstrate the many benefits of YMCA program involvement”.

The Weingart-Lakewood Family YMCA, the flagship branch of the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, will be leading the charge. Emilio Sosa, Senior Executive Director added “Our gymnastics program has produced YMCA national gymnastics champions in the past and we are excited for the opportunity to do it in our own backyard while showcasing our talent, leadership, and community engagement.”

Several U.S. Olympians have competed in the YMCA National Gymnastics Championship since the event began in 1938 in Detroit, Mich. including Abie Grossfeld (1956 and 1960 Olympic teams), Joyce Tanac Shroeder (1968 Olympic team) and Linda Metheny Mulvihill (1964, 1968, 1970 Olympic teams). The YMCA National Gymnastics Championships have been held in the state of California several times, but it will be a first for the City of Long Beach.

For additional event information visit us at www.lbymca.org, for sponsorship opportunities contact Lacey McMackin, Gymnastics Director, at (562)425-7431 or lacey.mcmackin@lbymca.org

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