Today we are interviewing founder and creator of Team England Para Cheer.
Rick took an idea and made it reality, Rick performed his “Wheelchair Partner Stunt” routine at the Cheerleading Worlds back in 2011 . He displayed a high level of cheerleading stunts from a disabled athlete encourage the ICU to consider a new division for cheer
Rick’s passion and determination caused the The International Cheerleading Union (ICU) to invite him and his organisation (ParaCheer International) to bring an integrated team of disabled and non-disabled athletes, to showcase at the Worlds this month. CFHTT knows this is the start of something special the start of a new division in cheer.
Rick is a base and his disability is that he has complex Regional Pain Syndrome (both legs)
Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer?
Initially I was debating with the other coaches whether I should be in the routine or not. After try-outs we saw that there weren’t any other wheelchair users and felt that was something worth while showcasing on the floor, how a wheelchair user can be included in group stunts, so the decision was to have me perform with the team. I’m really pleased actually because it means that I finally have a full sized team again that I’m fully part of, something I have missed in the last 7 years since my accident and subsequent disability.
What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer?
I love seeing the team come together and work through the difficulties each of them have in a productive and cooperative way. No-one is excluded because of their differences and if anything is challenging be it a disabled or non-disabled athlete everyone cheers them on and gives advice so we all build together and learn from each other. Obviously seeing my dream come to life in such a vivid and exciting way is also very special.
Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make or are a part of which you find especially interesting? (tell us about it and why its interesting)
Obviously all of the adaptations are fascinating for me as every time we learn something new we can add it to the rep to help any others coming after us start from a place of better understanding. My personal favourite of the adaptations I use however is during a group stunt section, when the other flyers all do a twist cradle, we do a full down because I can’t safely catch cradles sitting in my chair. Another adaptation to the routines as a whole that we’ve had to include is extra time in the transitions because it takes me longer to undo and redo my breaks and to travel across the floor than everyone else.
We would like to say thank you for all your hard work,your are inspiration to CFHTT and hundreds of people out their.
Thank you for sitting down with us Rick and good luck at Worlds 2016
Until next time guys