Editor’s note: St. Anne Catholic School teacher Jeff Cardy challenged his Grade 7-8 students to write a newspaper story. This is the third in a series of their reports.
Special to The Journal
Cheerleading is a lot different nowadays than the old way of yelling out peppy cheers and waving pompoms in the air.
All-star cheerleading is a whole new story and includes many mind-blowing features, such as “basket tosses” in which athletes are launched 20 feet into the air, with only their teammates to brace them.
Bluewater Cheer Athletics in Sarnia has athletes who have no fear of falling — they just fly. Because of all their hard work and dedication, four of the club’s six teams have been invited to The Summit, an all-star cheerleading competition May 3-5 at the ESPN World Wide Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
The Summit is a great experience for anyone who gets the opportunity, but it can be costly.
There are many different types of invitations. An At-Large ‘Bid’ means you advance to the semi-finals but still need to pay the full cost of $320 to $350. If you receive a Paid ‘Bid’ it means you can compete with no admission fee.
Bluewater has received a Wild Card ‘Bid,’ which has an admission fee of $320 to $350. In addition, participants still must pay for transportation, hotels/homes and any essentials needed in Florida.
The athletes and coaches were beyond amazed by the news of getting the bid.
“It was exciting!” said Paige Harding, one of the many Bluewater Cheer coaches.
“I was so happy that I was without words!” said Gabrielle Sullivan, an athlete on two club teams.
“When I found out we got the bid I broke into tears. I was so proud,” said Sydney Wylie, an athlete and coach.
All-star cheerleading has been granted provisional status by the International Olympic Committee, and in 2024 you will see all-star cheerleading at the Olympics.
But it still doesn’t get much recognition, and I wish people would recognize the difficulty of the sport.
Now that we are going to The Summit, I hope that happens.