Team England Para Cheer are 2017 World Champions !!!

Today Team England Para Cheer were crown World champion we are over the moon and so proud of all their hard work it pay off.

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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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CFHTT interview with Para Pom athlete Ellie Downs

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Name: Ellie Downs

Which Team: Team England Para Cheer Freestyle Pom
Disability:
Not disabled
Age:
25

Career/Job: Cheer and dance teacher & Tutor

Share something that makes you happy: A long hot bath after a long day training or teaching and filling my tummy with a massive roast dinner.

How many years’ cheer/dance experience do you have? 7 years!

Which cheer/dance teams are you part of or have you been part of in the past? I began cheerleading at University as a base and back spot on BNU Swans, I then went on to be part of The Cheerleading Academy in Buckinghamshire as an athlete and coach across all of their teams.

Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer/Pom? Last year, I watched TE Paracheer showcase online with my stepdad and mum and we absolutely loved it. We were jumping around cheering them on from my bedroom. It was an evening that sticks in my mind always. I then suddenly lost my stepdad a couple of months later. He was never a massive fan of cheer and dance but came to every show and competition and supported me 100%. He also always wanted to take us to Disney in Orlando. So, I figured I needed to do it for him, be on the only team he enjoyed to watch in the one place he wanted to take me, but never had the opportunity too. So, here’s to you Gordy!!

What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer/Pom? 17991233_10154704943096633_8465609883950938293_n

My favourite part of being on Team England Para Pom is the incredible people that I have met!! We all clicked as a team from the very first training session and I have truly made friends for life!

 

 

 

Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting? I truly admire the way that our Pom coaches adapt turns techniques for those that need it. When you watch the routine, I bet you can’t even spot the adaptation, that is why it is so good!

What have you learnt while being a part of this team? The biggest thing that I have learnt from being a part of this team is that there is no barrier to competing at the highest level in such a physically demanding sport.

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2017?18033072_10158612416495441_428279361036005523_n

Oh my gosh, where do I even begin? I have dreamed of this experience from the minute I caught the cheer bug. But I think overall, I cannot wait for that feeling when I am walking out onto the worlds floor, with my team, in my uniform and waiting for the music to start so I can show the world what we are about!!

 

 

 

 

 

Anything else you want to share? All our sponsors have provided us with such amazing kit so I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for all of the incredible support.

 

 

 

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CFHTT interview with Para Cheer Athlete Wendy Armitage

 

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We know you guys enjoy our interview with Rachel so we couldn’t wait to share our interview  with next Para Cheer athlete Wendy Armitage

Name: Wendy Armitage

Which Team: Team England ParaCheer

Role: Base

Disability: I have a variety of chronic health conditions, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which has resulted in me being a wheelchair user.

Age: 37

Career/Job: I am a work-from-home Mum, selling Jamberry Nail Wraps.

Share something that makes you happy: Getting back into cheerleading after nearly a decade away!

Share something most people don’t know about you: I had a Roman themed wedding at a Wildlife Park, which included all the men in the wedding party wearing togas (and lots of the guests too!)

16113316_10158044854930534_8949606294305492119_oHow many years’ cheer/dance experience do you have? I started dance lessons when I was 4, trained as a dance teacher from 16, started cheerleading and coaching at University.

Which cheer/dance teams are you part of or have you been part of in the past? I set up and ran the Surrey Angels University cheer team for over a decade. I have guest coached with many other teams.

Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer/Pom? 15977636_10158043614415534_6265267995272137995_nI missed cheer a lot! I left a decade ago when my disability made it too difficult to stand and I thought I would never be able to get back into it, so this is a dream come true!

What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer/Pom? All the amazing new friends I have made.

Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting? It is fun working out ways to incorporate Tili (my wheelchair) into stunts, which bits of her flyers can stand on, where the flyer’s body weight needs to be to keep the stunt stable and generally basing from a chair instead of standing.

What have you learnt while being a part of this team? That age and disability should not stop you from pursuing the things you love.

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2017? The atmosphere, seeing all the other teams, supporting all of Team England, everything really!

Anything else you want to share? I want to give a HUGE thank you to the TEPC management team for all their hard work arranging everything, our wonderful coaches Uri and Nikki for their patience and expertise and all of the brilliant sponsors who have so generously supported the team.

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 Rachel Berenson-Perkins aka RBP

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Name: Rachel Berenson-Perkins (known as RBP)

Which Team: Team England Para Cheer Freestyle Pom

Disability: Not disabled

Age: 32

Career/Job: Program Director – Superstars Cheer , Training and Development Manager – Cheerobics(R) and USASF Safety judge.

Share something that makes you happy: Writing while looking out at the beach and listening to the waves. Also ‘holding a foot’ aka basing a stunt.

Share something most people don’t know about you: Most people don’t know I’m American.  I have dual citizenship for both Britain and the US.

How many years’ cheer/dance experience do you have? Dance & Performance – 27yrs.  Cheer – 13yrs.

Which cheer/dance teams are you part of or have you been part of in the past? Superstars since 2009 along with Inferno, RLS Elite, BCA Allstars, Zoo and RH Tomcats.  I’ve also coached a season each with Swansea Sirens and Goldsmiths (Fe)lions.

Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer/Pom? It was an incredible opportunity to be part of an important evolution of our sport and at the same time represent our country.  I attended try outs for the experience of working with all these people (not fully believing I would be able to earn a spot).

17966388_10100575760599950_8609619296261133256_oWhat’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer/Pom? The people and all the great times we have together. We’re always laughing and having fun, even when we’re working so hard we’re in pain.

Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting? As both a coach and team mate I’ve loved learning how to adapt what I do in choreography and partner work to better include disabled athletes. Footwork and partnering grips in particular for pom and the change to the centre of gravity for certain stunts.

What have you learnt while being a part of this team? That I’m old!  But importantly that disability shouldn’t be a barrier to elite sport.  I feel like our teams perform at a higher level than many would expect.  It’s exciting to know that as knowledge of and belief in the division grows, England and all other national teams will be right up their next to the historical divisions, holding their own.

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What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2017? It will be my first time at Worlds so I just hope to really experience it and take it all in.  I’m looking forward to connecting with athletes from other countries and of course, stepping out onto that floor with ENGLAND on my chest and doing my best to make everyone back home proud.

Anything else you want to share? I think there are still many people out there who don’t realise that Para Cheer and Pom could be for them.  I would recommend this experience to everyone. Whether disabled or non-disabled, if you love to dance or cheer – try out this summer! Even the time spent working with athletes and coaches at try outs was a great experience and you could be part of forging England’s legacy at Worlds 2018!

Rachel we wish you all the best as you take to the Worlds floor representing the UK in Para Pom.

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CFHTT interviews with Team England Para Cheer and Pom 2017

We are so honoured to have this opportunity again to interview Team England ParaCheer and
Para Pom athletes who will be representing us at 2017 ICU Cheer Worlds. Last Monday we were invited to come down to the Team England showcase and our minds were blown away. The talent that these teams posse is amazing and you guys are going to so proud of the UK cheer community . Make sure you tune into our here so you don’t miss out

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