By ALEX SPONSELLER Dream Big Gymnastics in Cranston held a virtual Mardi Gras Invitational meet last weekend, hosting kids from in state, out of state and overseas to compete in the fun, themed event. For over a year, local gymnasts have struggled to
By ALEX SPONSELLER Dream Big Gymnastics in Cranston held a virtual Mardi Gras Invitational meet last weekend, hosting kids from in state, out of state and overseas to compete in the fun, themed event.
For over a year, local gymnasts have struggled to maintain a regular competition schedule due to the ongoing pandemic. However, Dream Big owner Shannon Cornicelli and her team have been working hard to provide virtual meets during this time, and the Mardi Gras Invitational marked another successful achievement in doing so.
“It’s vital to adapt to situations. These kids can’t miss a whole year of childhood, they can’t miss a whole year of their sport. It’s important to adapt, not just for business, but for the kids. If you want to stay open and alive business-wise, you have to get creative,” said Cornicelli.
The gym allowed teams to compete in person at Dream Big. Cornicelli’s Cranston-based club was in person for the event as well as Aim High Academy of Scituate. The other clubs were streamed online and recorded themselves going through each event, as did the teams present in Cranston.
Judges were also streamed into the competitions and were able to view each athlete live throughout the day.
The Mardi Gras-themed event also allowed teams to celebrate in style and enjoy different twists, including a Mardi Gras mask competition to crown who made the best mask for the meet.
As the world continues to battle COVID-19, Cornicelli and Dream Big will continue to try to be flexible and creative to allow local gymnasts to stay busy. Introducing virtual competitions has allowed for more teams to get involved and increase the outreach.
More than anything, though, Cornicelli is excited to be able to see kids stay on top of their game while having something to look forward to each day.
“For these kids, gymnastics isn’t a sport where you can take two weeks off even. They have to train year round in the sport, if you don’t use it you lose it, and if they aren’t competing, then they don’t have anything to look forward to and are not motivated,” Cornicelli said. “Being able to host these events is just so important.”