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Gymnastics at the Alario Center
Obviously we host more basketball tournaments than anything, but gymnastics meets have quietly moved up that list. Now, only basketball accounts for more days annually than gymnastics meets here at the Alario Center.
The USA Gymnastics’ Louisiana State Meets hosted by Elmwood Artistic Gymnastics were held at the Alario Center last weekend and will be returning this weekend (the lower levels last weekend and the upper levels this weekend). This was the first time that the Elmwood & Alario Center were fortunate enough to host both the lower level meet and the upper level meet. For the past few years we have hosted one or the other. In the upper levels, the highest finishers from levels 7-10 and Xcel move on from the Louisiana State Meet to the Region 8 Regional Championships.
We have also been the host site of the Judge’s Holiday Classic for the past couple years during the second weekend of December. The Judge’s Holiday Classic continues to grow and it is hosted by the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges, or the NAWGJ. The winners from level 7 of this meet advance to the NAWGJ’s National Judges Cup.
Starting next February, we will add another annual event, NOLA National Invitational will be sponsored by Jackie Latino’s All Star Gymnastics. This event will be open to both girls and boys. This is unique to the Alario Center because none of our other events include boys’ gymnastics, which requires different equipment from the girls’ meets. Our hope is to attract competitors from around the region and around the country. Moving to a national level event seemed like the right progression in our gymnastics meets. This meet also hopes to grow and add more elements after its inaugural event.
We have also had the opportunity to host a couple of USA Gymnastics Regional Championships, too. In 2011 we hosted the USA Gymnastics Region 8 Level 9-10 Championships in which the girls needed to finish at a high level in their start meet to advance to the regionals. In June of 2014, we hosted the USA Gymnastics Region 3, Acro Regional Championships. Acro is not the typical gymnastics and is defined as a competitive gymnastic discipline where partnerships of gymnasts work together and perform routines consisting of acrobatic moves, dance, and tumbling, set to music. Gymnasts perform three routines: a ‘balance’ routine where the focus is on strength, poise and flexibility, a ‘dynamic’ routine which includes throws, somersaults and catches, and (Only level 6 and above) a ‘combined’ routine which includes elements from balance and dynamic. To learn more about Acro check out: https://usagym.org/pages/acro/pages/index.html
We are happy we have been able to expand the gymnastics events that we can host. Our schedule remains very busy around the basketball season, and adding a few gymnastics meets a year has helped to keep us busy year-round.