The Palm Beach County Sports Commission (PBCSC) partnered with USA Competitions (USAC) to host the 2020 Tim Rand Invite, held March 6-8 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach. This was the last event held in the Convention Center prior to its closing our of concern for COVID-19. The Tim Rand Invite is the top amateur girls’ gymnastics competition held in South Florida.
Named after the late USA Gymnastics Region 8 Hall of Fame coach, the Tim Rand Invite was formed not only as a place for high-level competition but also as a benefit event for the Tim Rand Legacy Fund. The Fund benefits coaches and athlete education in the southeast region of the United States.
The event attracted over 4,000 athletes, coaches, and spectators during the three-day event. The weekend consists of athletes aged four to 18 competing in 10 different talent levels ranging from level one (novice) to 10 (advanced). The gymnasts compete in floor, beam, bars, and vault.
Unique from other gymnastic events, participants in the Invite had the chance to earn prizes as the weekend progresses. “Each gymnast begins the weekend with an envelope of play money. As the gymnasts compete, they get more money based on things like what scores they get or if they did something extraordinary,” said Shane Cummings, Director of Business Development for USAC. “Throughout the entire competition they are earning these ‘Twister Bucks’ and at the end of the competition they exchange play money for goodies like water bottles, candy, bags, and more.”
To accommodate the necessary gymnastics equipment and vendor space needed for this high-traffic event, the Invite utilized one of The Palm Beaches’ most versatile venues, the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Opened in 2004, the Center presents a spectacular setting for conventions, trade shows, meetings and social events as they are in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach. An architectural masterpiece with state-of-the-art amenities, the 350,000-square-foot venue features a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 22,000-square-foot ballroom, and 21,000 square feet of flexible breakout space divisible into 19 rooms. The space has been used for sporting events of all kinds including badminton, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, martial arts, power lifting, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling. The Hilton West Palm Beach, connected to the facility via covered walkway, makes event lodging a hassle-free experience, as does the convenient on-site parking garage.
The teams and individuals competing in the Invite came from 18 U.S. states and three foreign countries. The PBCSC recorded an economic impact of over $1.1 million from the competition.
Visit the official site of the Tim Rand Invite here: https://usacompetitions.com/tim-rand-invitational/.