Indoor Arenas / Facilities

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Wrestling and Gymnastics: A Winning Combination

30 Jan, 2020

By: Michael Popke

The Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence hosted the 2020 Beauty and the Beast Gymnastics & Wrestling Invitational in mid-January — a “world-class athletic competition that celebrates the best sports on the planet, side by side,” according to the event’s website.

Hosted by Dream Big Gymnastics and Beat the Streets Wrestling, the meet has been happening for three years, and it attracts top athletes from the region. The event also serves as a prime example of how to utilize one competition space for dual purposes at the same time.

As AthleticBusiness.com noted when reporting about a similar event in Wooster, Ohio, such competitions “prove that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.”

On the first Saturday of January, the Wooster High School gymnastics and wrestling teams hosted the seventh annual Beauty & the Beast Invitational, with several teams competing in each sport. The three-hour event filled much of the gymnasium, according to local media reports, and organizers credited the school’s wrestlers, gymnasts and other volunteers with helping physically transform the gym into an all-purpose venue for the unique event.

“It’s a community event, is what it ends up becoming, instead of, ‘Oh, just another gymnastics meet,’ Triway High School gymnastics head coach Stefanie Richardson told The Daily Record of Wooster. Triway was one of five teams competing in the gymnastics portion of the meet.

“It’s really important to the athletes,” added Wooster athletic director Joe Rubino. “We’ll do anything we can to [do] this for them and continue giving them an opportunity to have success in that format.”

Another Ohio school, Olentangy Berlin High in Delaware, combined both sports into a dual meet — with the wrestling and gymnastics teams each taking on different schools — at its inaugural Tumbles and Takedowns event in January. And back in 2014, Maryland put on its own version of the two-sport event.

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