STUNTING, high-basket tosses, tumbling and high-energy dance moves: little wonder that cheerleading is growing as a serious, competitive sport in Canberra.
Recently, the Canberra City Cheerleading 16-member team made its stamp on the national stage, winning a swag of trophies in pom, cheer and group stunts at the Australian Cheerleading National Championships.
Its under-14 years’ Team Mayhem group stunt won first place in the junior-level, four-stunt category.
Head coach Kayla Morgan said it was particularly outstanding for the under-14s, with most of the team only in their first year of cheerleading.
“The teams they were against were the best teams in Australia,” she said.
“It was amazing, and I think they surprised themselves.”
Ms Morgan has been cheerleading for 16 years and has coached for seven, including two years in America and England.
She said her team trains once a week for two hours at the Woden Valley Gymnastics Club.
“The top teams train three or four times a week, so the fact that our team are keeping up with the top teams is amazing,” she said.
“They put everything into it every training. Their cheer team of 16, came third place and beat some of the top squads in Australia as well and that’s because they work so hard.”
She said although Team Mayhem has exceeded expectations, there is still a way to go before they can compete at an international level in America.
“They still have quite a bit more training to do to build up to that level,” she said.
“But the hope is in two years I can take their age group to the Cheerleading World Championships to compete.”
Ms Morgan said currently her youngest cheer leader is a four-year-old boy and her eldest is a 31-year-old woman.
“Dance, gymnastics, stunting, it’s a hard sport and it actually hasn’t been classed as a sport in Australia, that’s why they love it the most, because they are going out and proving to people that it is one of the toughest sports you can probably do,” she said.
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