By Sylvia Collins
Brantford Cheer is one of the most enthusiastic, energetic, excited, all-star competitive cheer squads in
the region and the team has outgrown it’s current location.
Abbey Girard, owner of Studio A Academy of Performing Arts is looking for a new practice location in Brantford large enough to accommodate a 2,500 square foot sprung competition floor.
Girard said the team needs a facility that has a 20 foot high ceilings for safety reasons.
The team has 37 athletes aged five to 15. They are passionate, talented, motivated girls who have practiced relentlessly with their coaches.
“Both teams are having a great time learning new skills and love challenging themselves to
learn more. As a coach I feel like I have done something right when my team is excited to learn
and try new things,” Girard said.
The Brantford Cheer Club is an all-star cheerleading team dedicated to teaching leadership,
strength, teamwork and trust.
The athletes are learning skills such as tumbling, stunting, dance and choreography as well as performance techniques. Not only will the Brantford Bolts cheerleaders be performing at competitions, but they will be featured in community and sporting events.
Next year the teams are hoping to break into smaller teams, add more levels and team options to allow the athletes to compete in specialty categories. Girard also hopes to introduce a special needs team.
She will also add half season competition teams September to January and January to May and full season competition from July to May as well as recreational teams.
Right now the teams are gearing up for a competition in May.
Their main goal is to have an absolute blast going out onto the floor to show off their hard work.
“When I look back to where we started in September I can’t believe how much all the athletes have grown. Some of the girls started by learning a somersault and now they are working on back handsprings. It’s just amazing how much these kids love the sport and how hard they are willing to work to achieve their goals,” Girard said.
The girls practice time twice a week, sometimes more.
Girard said she noticed is that the parents are very supportive of the team and all the athletes, not just their own child.
She said it’s one thing to support your own child in a sport, but when the parents go above and beyond in supporting other children on the team, it brings the team experience to another level.
There are constantly family members willing to volunteer, make snacks, tie shoelaces, get ice
or band aids; everyone has been happy to help where they can.
Witnessing the growth of the team behind the team has been one of the great benefits of the new season.
The team members are also encouraged to support each other by pairing the girls on the team with another girl of similar age, personality and skill as cheer sisters.
It’s a way to introduce the girls to others on the team they may not already know, and so that they have someone that can support them throughout the season. Some of them have special cheers between themselves or others exchange small gifts for different occasions.
If one of them gets hurt their cheer sister is there to help the coach care for them, and before competition they help shake the jitters off with a cheer sister hug.
“There have been so many incredible moments this season. One of the best moments all
season was watching the girls run onto the competition mat for the first time and give the most
amazing performance. It was their smiles after they performed their routine for the first time, you could see they were proud of themselves and their team,” she said
For more info please contact Abbey Girard at www.Brantfordcheer.ca.