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Sumter Shamrock Invitational Meet to host 180 gymnasts from all over Georgia

AMERICUS – 180 gymnasts from all over the state will compete Saturday, March 3, at the Sumter Shamrock Invitational Meet on Saturday, March 3.

Tim Estes, director of the Sumter County Parks and Recreation Department, is excited about this weekend’s upcoming meet and is extremely proud of the success of this program in a short period of time. “Melissa Singley and her staff continue to develop these young ladies and help them compete at a high level,” Estes said. “This meet is our only home meet of the year and provides some much-needed funds for our program, as well as being a huge economic impact for our community.”

The gymnastics meet will be held on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. “There are four different sessions that are going to be happenings,” Coach Singley said. “The first session is from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. The next sessions are from 10:40 a.m. until 1 p.m., 1:10 p.m. until 3:40 p.m. and one from 3:50 p.m. till 7 p.m. Then there’s a little small session at the very end for our higher levels.”

According to Singley, since 2009, when the gymnastics program was started, she has seen tremendous growth and success. “We started in 2009 with kids who had never really done much gymnastics and have had some form of state champions almost every year since then,” Coach Singley said. “We have two young ladies that are level 6. One is working towards level 7 and hopefully will go to college. These kids have grown in some amazing skills. We’re making a name for ourselves out of Sumter County in the big world of Georgia.” Singley went on to say that there are some gymnasts who are hopefuls to compete at the collegiate level at places like Georgia, Florida and other Division I and II schools. “That’s a much more reachable goal than the Olympics, not that I wouldn’t love that Olympic champion. It could happen. I’m not saying it never will, but college is very reachable.”

Coach Singley went on to say that the gymnasts are divided by levels and then age groups. “We have everything from Level 1 to Level 6. The highest it goes is Level 10 and we’re at Level 6, so we’re getting there” Singley said. “We also have what’s called Excel bronze, silver and gold. It’s kind of a beginner, intermediate, advanced-type level. To be honest, the highest level of gymnastics competition will be at about 3:50 p.m. that afternoon.”

Singley went on to say that they have classes all week long for all ages if anybody is interested in gymnastics. “We have classes that go on from 18 months up, so that’s where we pull these kids to go to the competitive team,” Singley said.