Name: Sammi Coggans
Team: Team England ParaCheer Hip Hop
Role: Head Coach
Career Goal: Achieved it! Though I would also love one day to Judge Worlds
Which Para Team are you most excited to see and why?
In addition to watching ours on the floor, I am looking forward to watching Team England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom. I was assistant coach for this team last year and have so much love for the athletes and coaches. I also had so much joy watching them perform at BCA Nationals on Easter weekend!
How many years of experience do you have?
I have been coaching for 12 years, Judging for 4 and this is my second year coaching within Team England ParaCheer.
Which teams are you apart of or have you been part of in the past?
I run BPA Cheer and Dance – A Bristol based cheerleading and dance team. I began this at the age of 15. I also have coached workshops for numerous other teams including universities and All-star programme
Were you nervous about Try-outs day for Team England Para Hip Hop ?
It was incredible to see such an amazing turn out. I was a little nervous with it being the newest national team, but we had some great support with spreading the word and have some fantastic athletes from incredible teams being represented throughout our team.
Your favourite memory from being a part of Team England Para –
So far it HAS to be watching them perform at BCA Nationals. That showcase was something else – they truly came into their own, and the crowd really got behind them. They came off the floor a family rather than just a team. It was also great having all the other national Dance teams performing there too. Team England Hip Hop, Team England Pom, Team England ParaPom and us – Team England ParaCheer Hip Hop were all there supporting each other and it was great.
Describe the funniest thing that’s happen to you while you were at training –
I probably can’t share all of the details as we always seem to be laughing – but its so nice watching new bonds form and that all those initial ‘meeting new people’ barriers are dropped. Everyone has let their true personalities out and that has resulted in too many memories to pin down!
Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting?
If I’m honest, the group is so gifted we can look past any disabilities and just make what has become a spectacular routine. Most adaptations come in training where fatigue can sometimes be an issue, however this can effect everyone, not just those with a disability. Thats what I love about the ethos of ParaCheer, Cheer really IS for everyone.
What advice would you give to someone who was scared to try-out for Team England Para this year.
I would say you are more likely to regret the chances you don’t take than those you do. This opportunity isn’t only to represent your country, but to be a part of a movement.
What will you miss about Team England Para and why.
The team and the way it has bonded has been so unique. There’s a wide mix of ages and styles, but I can’t state too much, how much it feels like a family!
What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2018?
We are training at Top Gun this season, so that will be really exciting… But other than that, of course the performance! It will be so amazing – you MUST watch!!!
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