CFHTT’s interview with Head Coach of Team England Pom Rachael Swinnerton

 

Hey guys,  CFHTT

rache profile

Feels so excited that we got to interview  Head Coach of Team England Pom Rachael about what its like being apart of the first unified Team England Pom team and what she’s looking for from athletes trying out for the 2018 team .

 

 

 

 

What inspired you to create Team England Pom ?

All of the fantastic people I have met and the experiences I have had over the past 16 years during my involvement within cheerleading and dance has inspired me to make the choices I have taken within the industry today. For everyone in the cheer community, Team England cheer has inspired us all to believe in ourselves as a country, and to recognise how proud we are to compete at the ICU World championships representing England.

For me, Team England pom was inspired by; the dancers I see at competitions across the country who stand out because of their talent and passion, By the coaches who take their teams to these competitions and pour their hearts into their athlete’s development – who continue to raise the bar for England Pom; By the wonderful Scottish and Welsh teams who are outstanding year after year – showing England what we are capable of if we put our minds to it.

18274816_1680771585270758_793941627220140468_nWe have an exceptional amount of talent right here in England, and I truly believe that these dancers deserve the opportunity to be brought together to represent their country. THEY inspire me and I am honoured to be able to put this opportunity forward for them.

At the very beginning of the Team England pom journey I met Leanne Woodcock, who is now Head Coach alongside me for 2018. When I think about all that inspired me at the start, it was also her passion for Pom; her continued support and shared vision that has now led us onto getting ready for tryouts for our 2nd season.

 

team england rache and leanne at europeans[2305843009213707901]

 

  1. You have an amazing group of Coaches for Team England Pom 2018, how were they selected?

We advertised through the UK Coaches group, and held interviews on 4th June. Team England Pom is a celebration of the talent our country has within pom dance, and we are all extremely excited to get started this year with such wonderful support from so many talented strong women – representing so many different Teams/Academies/Dance Schools.

 

  1. When are your try-outs and where will they be held?

Team England Pom Tryouts will take place on Saturday 17th June at the Cheerforce Gym in Telford.

 

  1. What should athletes trying out expect to experience on the day of Team England Pom try-outs?

Athletes interested in trying out for Team England Pom are asked to email us for an application form and Info pack. pom teamThey will then need to return their form to us, answering several questions about their experience and why they want to be part of the National team. (Our coaches want to get a feel for each applicant, and find what drives them with their training).

On the day we will be judging the athletes as part of a group, and individually during short solo routines. The atmosphere will be a positive and friendly one, with athletes supporting eachother throughout the process.

 

  1. What kind of dance experience do you need to try-out for Team England Pom?

We are looking for dancers who have a background in competitive pom dance, or who excel within their dance schools with the dance technique required.

We are looking for dancers who can demonstrate great technique with skills such as A la seconde turns, pirouettes, various leaps and jumps. Plus strong arm motions for pom.

 

  1. Please describe the characteristics of a Team England Pom athlete?

Being a part of the National Team involves training with the team itself around once a month. In addition to this our athletes are required to submit weekly technique and stamina training videos. Because of this, one of the main characteristics we are looking for from our dancers is self-motivation. A team England Dancer will need to be extremely driven to push themselves outside of team England training.

team england pom on the floorTeam England Dancers will also rely on the characteristics of physical fitness and stamina, our dancers will need to have the energy to withstand long hours of training and to perform the routine effortlessly and with enthusiasm.

Perseverance and memory retention is also an excellent characteristic, Dancers must have the persistence to keep rehearsing their role/skills until perfect, with the ability to learn quickly and retain information.

Our priority is uniformity, so a dancer able to work and communicate well as part of a team is a must.

 

  1. What’s your vision for Team England Dance in the future?

Leanne and I are extremely passionate about presenting this opportunity to talented dancers across our country. Our vision is to see the very best coming together to represent England as a fully unified team at ICU year on year. We want to establish England as a Country that can produce exceptional teams for both Cheer and Dance, making our national proud. Our vision involves continuing to raise the bar for Pom in England, therefore further promoting the image of cheerleading & dance across the UK and the World for all those involved in this wonderful sport.

TE POM 2017

 

Thank you Rachael for interviewing with us and we are excited to watch your journey this coming season.

For more information  on Team England Pom please email rachael@scgb.org.uk or follow their social media platforms

FACEBOOK:

Team England Dance

Team England Pom Dance

INSTAGRAM:

teamenglandpom

 

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Celebrating all things Team England !!

Today is the day that Team England Coed, All girl, Team England Para Cheer, Para Pom , Hip Hop and Free style Pom take to the floor. To celebrate this amazing achievement we will be posting their routines from 2016 to get us pumped for the epic performances we are about to see today.

 

 

 

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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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WORLDS 2017 VIEWING TIMES: TEAM ENGLAND, TEAM WALES AND TEAM SCOTLAND

Watch ICU live check on the link below
http://cheerunion.org/

🚨note🚨 all times are USA times and we are 5hrs head and are subject to change!!

Opening Ceremony- Wednesday 6.30pm

Team England:
All Girl Elite-10.54am
Coed Elite-12.36pm
ParaCheer- 1.55pm
ParaPom Freestyle 2.58pm
Freestyle Pom 3.34pm
Hip Hop 5.16pm

Team Scotland
Freestyle Pom doubles 12.17pm
Hip Hop 3.22pm
Freestyle Pom 4.48pm

Team Wales
Coed Elite 12.24pm
Freestyle Pom doubles 11.21
ParaCheer 2.42pm
Freestyle Pom 4.16pm

Finals will be Friday TBC.

For updates make sure your checking our social media platforms
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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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