Team England Para Cheer documentary : The Journey to Worlds

The Para Cheer division is something close to our  hearts and that why we made this documentary.  This division allows everyone a chance to be apart of this sport, to have a family like no other and to achieve something great.  We would love if you share this video and support Team England Para because they deserve  it and we know they are going to do us proud at ICU this Thursday.

 

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CFHTT interview with head Coach of Team England Para Cheer Hip Hop Sammi Coggans

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Name: Sammi Coggans

Team: Team England ParaCheer Hip Hop

Role: Head Coach

Age: 27

Disability:N/A

Career Goal: Achieved it! Though I would also love one day to Judge Worlds

Instagram @sammi_coggs

 

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!

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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. 

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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! 

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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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CFHTT interview with Team England Para Pom athlete Abi Mellor

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Name Abi Mellor
Team  : Team England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom
Age : 20
Disability: Scoliosis
Career Goal: Successful Cheer and Dance Coach
Share something that makes you happy
Family and friends definitely make me happy. They help me with everything in my life and what I do would not be possible without them! Also coaching my younger teams makes me very happy, seeing them progress week by week and enjoy what they’re doing is very rewarding.
Which Para Team are you most excited to see and why? 
 I am looking forward to seeing all the ParaCheer teams however I’m really looking forward to see all of Team USA’s ParaCheer Teams.
How many years of experience do you have? 
 I have 11 years of cheerleading and dance experience.
Which teams are you currently a part of or have been part of in the past
I am currently apart of Rayz All-Stars Cheerleading Team as well as Team  England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom.
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What was it like when you attended try-outs for Team England Para Pom ? 
The standard of talent at tryouts was amazing, I remember stood there thinking was out of my depth. I have experience in Cheer and dance but I had never actually been on a Pom team!
Everyone was really lovely and was working together to practice and remember choreography which was nice and made me feel more at ease. It gave me a good idea of what training was going to be like if I was successful too, hard work but still fun.
Your favourite memory from being a part of Team England Para Pom 
My favourite memory with the team would be our first showcase which was at BCA Nationals. It was our first time showing the rest of the UK our routine and we were all nervous but we pulled it off as a team and the feeling at the end of that routine was something I can’t describe!
Describe the funniest thing that’s happen to you while you were at training
Since I’ve met the team we’ve always been laughing and joking and doing silly stuff. From bringing odd shoes or falling over and I’m pretty sure they’ll be more to come when were at worlds too!
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What advice would you give to someone who was scared to try-out for Team England Para this
My advice to anyone that is scared to tryout, don’t be!
Everyone is so welcoming and the whole team is just like a family, everyone supports you whether you have a disability or not and your not treated any differently.
The amount of fun we have at training as well as hard work is not something to be missed!
After Worlds, what will you miss about Team England Para and why
 I will miss the coaches and the team as whole. Over the months running up to worlds we have all become so close and formed real friendships, that I hope will last. It’s going to be very strange not seeing them!
What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2018?
I am most excited about representing my country at worlds with my amazing team, from being a little girl I never thought I would see the day I would be there actually competing!
Im excited to actually be there and watch all the teams I am usually watching on my laptop screen.
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CFHTT interview with Team England Para Hip Hop Athlete Rebecca Fowler

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Name Rebecca Fowler

Team: Team England ParaCheer Hip Hop

Role: Athlete 

Age: 34

Disability: Multiple Sclerosis

Share something that makes you happy:

My two wonderful children make me very happy

Which Para Team are you most excited to see and why?

I’m excited to see Team England ParaCheer perform as I haven’t seen any of their routine yet and am interested to see the wheelchair partner stunts.

How many years of experience do you have?   Less than a year.  

Which teams are you apart of or have you been part of in the past?

None. I am a member of FreeWheelin Dance Group in Birmingham which is where I started to learn to dance.

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What was it like when you attended try-outs for Team England Para? 

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having never been to anything like it before so I was a bit nervous, but the coaches were friendly and made it fun.  

Your favourite memory from being a part of Team England Para 

My favourite memory is of  the first time we performed our routine to an audience at BCA Nationals on 1st April.  The atmosphere was amazing, the whole team gave absolutely everything and the feeling of knowing the routine went well was incredible.

Describe the funniest thing that’s happen to you while you were at training 

– We were practising an assisted backwards lean with Sophie tipping my wheelchair on to the back wheels.  I wasn’t completely sure what count we were doing the lean on so when Sophie tipped my wheelchair backwards it came as a massive surprise and I was terrified I was going to fall out.  The look of terror on my face had all of my team mates in hysterics.  Thankfully we now have that skill and the timing sorted.

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Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting?   I love the assisted backwards lean and the assisted side tilt that I do with my team mates.  I love that my wheelchair has become a positive focus of our routine and the way my team mates are so willing to try out new ways of integrating it.  It has been wonderful to develop such close and trusting relationships with my team mates that enable us to try things out in that way.

What advice would you give to someone who was scared to try-out for Team England Para this year

– GO FOR IT! I had virtually no experience when I went to try outs and have made unbelievable progress this year.  The coaches support and belief in my ability has motivated me to push myself harder and rise to the challenge.  Being part of Team England has changed my life and I am so glad I have been able to be part of it.

What will you miss about Team England Para and why

 –  I will really miss the friends I have made, the fun we have at training sessions and the shared experience of working for something bigger than yourself.  We have grown together so much and I really don’t want it to end.

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2018?

I’m ridiculously excited about performing our routine on the Worlds stage.  BCA was amazing so I think performing at Worlds is going to blow my mind!

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CFHTT interview with Para Cheer athlete and founding trustee of ParaCheer International Rick Rodgers

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Name: Rick Rodgers

Which Team: Team England ParaCheer

Role: Base. I also advise the coaching staff on adaptations for the athletes who need it.

Disability: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; I use a wheelchair to mobilise as it’s agonisingly painful for me to bare weight through my legs. I also have pain in my arms and upper spine which makes it much more fatiguing to Cheer. All my stunts have to work around my wheelchair, and the fact that my sitting position means I’m further from my base partner than would be best. I have a base support who helps stabilise the stunt over me correctly so it doesn’t put excess pressure on my spine or shoulders, and my base support also calls the stunts for my stunt group, as my pain and fatigue can lead to distraction and forgetfulness.

Age: 33

Career/Job: I’m a founding trustee of ParaCheer International and volunteer my time to the charity a lot. Otherwise I’m currently not working due to some mental health difficulties I’ve been dealing with over the last couple of years.

Share something that makes you happy: Pancakes

Share something most people don’t know about you: I used to drive rickshaws around Croydon for a living.

How many years’ cheer/dance experience do you have? Over 11 years.

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Which cheer/dance teams are you part of or have you been part of in the past? I was originally part of the London City Stars, then after the accident that left me disabled I performed as Wheelchair Partner Stunt, before founding ParaCheer International and the ParaCheer divisions.

You were on Team England ParaCheer last year, what made you want to return for a second year? I still haven’t been on a competitive team since my accident and really wanted to succeed at that. I’m not ready to retire as an athlete since I missed so many years during my disability transition; ParaCheer is the only place I’m able to still fulfil that goal.

What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer/Pom? Seeing the dream having spread to all the athletes around me and watching them all support each other regardless of their diverse backgrounds and needs.

Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting? 17426171_1590301347665348_6407741366933569175_nThis year it’s been great working with Wendy (the other wheelchair user on the team) and getting to share everything I’ve learnt as a wheelchair user myself. The addition this year of our high vis velcro strips between the panels has been fun too.

 

 

What have you learnt while being a part of this team? Whatever challenges come our way there is a solution if you can work together and rely on each other.

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2017? I’m really excited to see the other National ParaCheer teams we’re competing against and how they’re interpreting the rules and choreographing their routines.

Anything else you want to share?17629595_1590063934355756_4110602637258594486_n The uniforms we have this year from Varsity Europe are spectacular, and that we have worked together with Team England Co-ed and All Girl to create one uniform across the whole Team England Cheer programme is really exciting.

 

 

If you enjoyed this article comment below and stay tune to read out interview with our next Para athlete tomorrow. 

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CFHTT interview with Para Pom athlete Niamh Coveney

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Name: Niamh Coveney

Which Team: Team England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom

Age: 15

Disability: Bi-lateral moderate hearing loss. I wear hearing aids. This affects my life because I find it very difficult to hear people when they are not facing me. I can’t hear individuals in loud rooms. Sometimes I have to lip read and adapt moves in Pom routines because it knocks my hearing aid out. I have to rely on the counts in the music to be able to pick up on the routine.

Career Goal: I want to work with children who have disabilities.

Share something that makes you happy: Cheerleading and working with my Saxons team and my Team England team. Being with family and friends.

Share something most people don’t know about you: I love to tap dance and I’m an intermediate tap dancer.

How many years’ cheer/dance experience do you have? I have been dancing since I was 2, so 13 years.

Which cheer/dance teams are you part of or have you been part of in the past? Saxon Stars

Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer/Pom? I wanted to show people that everyone can dance and cheer no matter what disability they have and anything is possible. It has always been my dream to cheer at Worlds for my country and if I can achieve it, then anyone can achieve it.

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What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer/Pom? Being able to work with such talented people and dance coaches. I love being a part of this team, it feels like a family.

What have you learnt while being a part of this team? I have learnt that anything is possible and it is possible to achieve your dream with hard work and determination.

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2017? Performing with my team and showing everyone what we have achieved.

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