A group of talented cheerleaders are preparing for a performance of a lifetime. The seven students, from Richmond School and Sixth Form College, are heading to Atlanta as part of a team of twenty members of the Catterick-based Lazer Cheer Academy team where they will take part in the highly-regarded international Cheer Sport competition.
The competition draws in the top cheerleading teams from around the world. The students, aged between 11 and 17, are training rigorously to perfect their stunts, pyramids, tumbles, jumps and dance and are working on a show-stopping routine with which to impress the judges.
Alongside their intense training regime, the girls are also doing a huge amount of fundraising to help pay towards the costs for flights and accommodation. Already, they have done a number of Big Breakfasts locally as well as a pamper day at RAF Leeming. In addition, they are also a nominated project in Tesco's Bags of Help appeal, at the Catterick Garrison store, until the end of March, where support would be greatly appreciated to help them receive a grant towards new uniforms and equipment for the club.
Katie Wood, age 17, is no stranger to international competitions having previously performed at the 2018 World Championships in Orlando. Katie has been training with Lazer Cheer for four years and is also part of the Manchester-based Rising Stars team, travelling to Manchester twice a week for training. Not only is Katie an elite-level cheerleader, but she is devoting time to sharing her expertise with younger team members after passing her BCQ level 3 coaching examination.
Katie has been coaching for three years at Lazer Cheer and is delighted to build on her Level 1 and 2 qualifications to deepen her own knowledge and widen her teaching skills for the benefit of the club and its younger members. She also finds time to coach gymnastics at Richmondshire gymnastics club.
Katie said: “I am thrilled to have passed my level three qualification and I am already using some of the knowledge in classes. I am looking forward to continuing with the next stage of the coaching programme in the future.”
A consummate professional, Katie has exceptionally high standards in her individual and team performances and her quest and passion for excellence is evident in her coaching. Katie has a natural ability to motivate younger students, she holds them in great respect and really gets the best out of them.
Mandy Foreman, director at Lazer Cheer, said: “This is the first time we have taken a team to America to compete and I am incredibly proud of them and the amount of extra training they are putting in to make sure we are competition ready.”
Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “These girls are top-class athletes who are demonstrating such creativity, excellence and teamwork as well as an incredible amount of resilience to fit in all the training alongside their studies. I wish them the very best of luck as they head to Atlanta.”