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.
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.
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.
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? This 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? 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.
🚨note🚨 all times are USA times and we are 5hrs head and are subject to change!!
Opening Ceremony- Wednesday 6.30pm
All Girl Elite-10.54am
ParaPom Freestyle 2.58pm
Freestyle Pom 3.34pm
Hip Hop 5.16pm
Freestyle Pom doubles 12.17pm
Hip Hop 3.22pm
Freestyle Pom 4.48pm
Coed Elite 12.24pm
Freestyle Pom doubles 11.21
Freestyle Pom 4.16pm
Finals will be Friday TBC.
Which Team: Team England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom
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.
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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