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.

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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 Team England Para Cheer athlete Gwenllian Evans

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Name: Gwenllian Evans (Gwen)

Which Team: Team England ParaCheer

Role: Flyer

Age: 24

Disability: I had a haemorrhagic stroke in 2014, when I was 21, due to a rare congenital disorder which gives me an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in my brain that are very fragile and prone to rupture. This happened to me just after a cheer training session, and gave me a brain haemorrhage! The stroke led to cognitive and learning difficulties, which makes it very hard to keep up with the pace on non-disabled teams. My physical and mental concentration is limited to about 20 minutes, after which my brain will “reset” and I space out for a bit – sometimes even in the middle of a stunt. In addition, the thing in my brain that caused me to have a stroke is still there and I am at risk of having another stroke if I invert, raise the pressure in my neck/brain too much, have too much repeated impact and move my neck too fast. This means no inverted stunts, no baskets, no tumbles, no jumps and limited dance movement for me!

Career Goal: I’m a medical student at King’s College London. I’m about to qualify as a doctor in July 2017, and since I was 6 I have always wanted to specialise as a neurosurgeon. Now that I have become a neurosurgical patient myself, I can’t NOT be a neurosurgeon!

18033032_10154294634957063_6106444174357547254_nShare something that makes you happy: Cheer, baking, my friends and family!

Share something most people don’t know about you: I have really long arms! Even though I’m shorter than my bases I can reach high enough to be their backspot.

How many years’ cheer/dance experience do you have? I started at University in 2010.

Which cheer/dance teams are you part of or have you been part of in the past? Kings College London (KCL) Lions (University team) from 2010 – 2014 and London City Stars from 2013 until mid-2014. My stroke happened 6 months into being on this team.

Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer/Pom?
I was devastated when my cheer career was ended by something I did not decide on. When my surgeons gave me the go ahead to start light exercise again, I knew I would never be able to cheer properly ever again – so I started coaching instead. But it really, really hurt to be watching cheer and not doing cheer! I was so inspired by the great things TEPC was doing for other people in a similar situation to me and thought it would be an amazing thing to be a part of. I did get offered a place on Team England ParaCheer last year, but I couldn’t commit due to university exams.

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What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer/Pom? 17992142_10154704942401633_1747350993727036203_nSeeing the joy on all of the athletes’ faces when we achieve skills and stunts we never thought we would have the opportunity to even try.

Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make which you find especially interesting? Any adaptations that have been made for the wheelchair users – especially full ups!

What have you learnt while being a part of this team? How much potential every single one of us has – and there are ways to unlock them all by being creative, no matter what the disability or not.

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2017? The feeling of walking onto the Worlds mat and seeing Worlds from the other side of the banner and curtains!

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