YMCA gymnastics championship to benefit Watertown area economy

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:07 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown’s YMCA will host this year’s New York State YMCA Gymnastics Championship.

In late April, 8 teams and more than 200 gymnasts from across the state will compete.

“Kids train from four hours a week to 16 hours a week, so it’s a huge accomplishment. You do have to qualify to be able to compete at state,” said Shawna Cutuli, membership facilities managing director.

The Watertown Y hosted the state YMCA gymnastics championships in 2017.

Cutuli says this event brings business to the area. With 200 gymnasts, come families and coaches staying in nearby hotels, dining in local restaurants, and filling up their cars at the pumps.

“The economic impact of them traveling here is huge,” said Cutuli.

The YMCA will use the gym at Jefferson Community College and rent apparatus for the competition.

It will bring people from across New York, but about 60 of the gymnasts on the bars will be from the Watertown program.

“Kids being able to compete at a state level in Watertown, New York as we are the host, it’s just a huge experience for the local kids,” said Cutuli.

The gymnastics competition is a sample of what more could come when construction finishes on the Y’s new downtown community and aquatics center,

CEO Denise Young says she hopes they can bring in competitors for large swim meets too.

“It’s a competition pool so we would be able to host the dual meets. We will be able to host the regional meets for our region, so it’s really exciting,” she said.

Young says the YMCA’s mission is to help folks live a healthy lifestyle and events like these can help the community’s economic health as well.