Foley Sports Tourism makes history hosting gymnastics championships

Staff Report
Posted 5/4/22

The USA Gymnastics Region 8 Xcel Championship has never been held in Alabama until this year. Foley Sports Tourism (FST) will host the event May 6-8 at the Foley Event Center.An estimated 1,500 …

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Foley Sports Tourism makes history hosting gymnastics championships

The Foley Event Center hosted over 800 gymnasts from across Alabama in March during the Alabama Optional/Xcel State Championships.
The Foley Event Center hosted over 800 gymnasts from across Alabama in March during the Alabama Optional/Xcel State Championships.
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Posted

The USA Gymnastics Region 8 Xcel Championship has never been held in Alabama until this year. Foley Sports Tourism (FST) will host the event May 6-8 at the Foley Event Center.

An estimated 1,500 gymnasts and their families from across Region 8, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee are expected. This also makes it the largest gymnastics event FST has ever seen.

Bama Bounders Owner and Regional Championships Meet Director Erin Holdefer-Kightlinger said working with FST for past events made it an easy choice when putting together a bid for the Regional Championships.

"We chose Foley when we bid on this event because the facility is one of the best in the country," said Holdefer-Kightlinger.

Alabama State Gymnastics Chair Mike Holdefer said having this event in Alabama for the first time since its inception in 2008 can impact more than just Foley, it can have a ripple effect on the sport throughout the state.

"It is a great boost to gymnastics in Alabama as many of our athletes have had to travel over 500 miles some years for this event," Holdefer said. "The Xcel program in Alabama and throughout Region 8 is growing each year and this year's event in Foley will only fuel growth, especially in Alabama. A successful event would certainly lead to the opportunities to receive future regional championships."

Four local gymnasts qualified to compete at the Regional Championships after their performance at the Alabama Xcel State Championships in Foley March 25-27.

Eastern Shore Gymnastics Academy in Daphne had three of their 19 gymnasts qualify for Regionals. Rosie Roberds, age 8 of Fairhope and Rylee Cumpston, age 10 of Spanish Fort, both qualified for the Xcel Platinum Regionals. Luci LeCroy, age 11 of Fairhope qualified for the Xcel Gold Regionals.

Flip City Academy in Foley had one gymnast, Saoirse McDaniel, age 14 of Daphne qualify for Xcel Gold Regionals.

The USA Gymnastics Region 8 Excel Championship is May 6-8. Competition begins Friday, May 6 at 8 a.m. and ends Sunday at 5 p.m. Spectators are welcome. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Children under 5 years old are free. For more information visit thebamabounders.com.

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