SSYMCA Gymnastics Team Competes in National Championship

Posted: Jul. 11, 2023 Gymnastics at the Y

The South Shore YMCA Gymnastics Team competed in the YMCA National Gymnastics Championship and Invitational from June 21 to 23 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over 4,000 gymnasts, family members, and coaches from more than 75 YMCAs nationwide attended the championship, hosted by the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.

Competing members of the South Shore YMCA Gymnastics Team included Laila Sylvestre, Grace Hartigan, Sophie Holmes, Giada Marotta,  Gia Bunnell, Sydney Hallifax, and Lily Stone. Senior team members Ciara Hughes, a program coach, and Madelyn Handly, program coach and counselor at SSYMCA Camp Gordon Clark, also competed in the championship, marking the last meet in their YMCA gymnastics careers.

“Nationals is something the gymnasts look forward to all year long,” said SSYMCA Gymnastics Team Coach Kara Protulis. “It’s what they work for all season. All the gymnasts have to qualify to compete, and they work so hard to get there.”



Xcel Diamond Level

  • Ciara Hughes: 10th place on bars, 13th place finals
  • Madelyn Handly: 12th place on bars, 11th place on vault, 25th place finals

Xcel Gold Level

  • Gia Bunnell: 2nd place on bars, 12th place all around
  • Sydney Hallifax: 2nd place on vault, 1st place on bars, and 3rd place all around

Xcel Silver Level

  • Sophie Holmes: 3rd place on vault

Xcel Bronze Level

  • Laila Sylvestr: 15th place on all events, including all around

“I am so proud of our gymnasts and how hard they worked to prepare for this,” said Protulis, “I think what they find to be most fun is being with their teammates making memories.”

Our South Shore YMCA Synergy Gymnastics Team is available by invitation or tryout for all skill levels, from non-competitive beginners to national skill levels such as Competitive USA gymnastics teams, Excel levels Bronze-Diamond, and JO levels 2-8. To learn more, visit or contact Kara Protulis at



About the South Shore YMCA

The South Shore YMCA is a leading charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through programs that promote healthy spirit, mind, and body. Serving the communities of Quincy, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Braintree, Milton, Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hanover and beyond, the South Shore Y provides the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive through its services and programs. Financial Assistance is a Y community benefit available to all families in need, applicable to all Y programs and services. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA, visit The South Shore YMCA. The Better You Belongs Here.