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 or follow their social media platforms


Team England Dance

Team England Pom Dance




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cfhtt giveaway.jpgWe can’t believe that CFHTT is 6yrs old!! THANK YOU for all your continued support, shares, likes and tags! We want to celebrate this weekend by giving YOU guys THE BIGGEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!! CFHTT’s MASSIVE GIVEAWAY!!

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Closing Date Sunday 4th June at 5pm
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CFHTT 6th Birthday 🙌🎂🎉💜🎊🎉🎂💜🎊🎉

Hey Guys,
Six years ago I never thought Cheer From Head To Toe would be what it is today. I started this project because I didn’t feel UK cheer community was being represented online accurately. If you typed in UK cheer nothing came up and I didn’t feel that was right.
Over the years CFHTT has developed from my own personal project to a team of people building the CFHTT brand. I am so grateful for each and every member for all you do behind the scenes from crazy hours of the morning discussing ideas to travelling halfway across the country to watch talented teams and so much more!! I feel truly blessed to be able to share my passion with such wonderful people. A special thank you to my righthand woman Mary for all your hard work and being such amazing friend. To Paul and Nicole for your endless proof reading for me it means the world to that you read my reviews without question even when they are 2000+ words long💜💜 and to many others who support me. I’m deeply touched by your kindness.
Six years later the cheer community is booming, we couldn’t be prouder and are even more excited for the future. On our journey we have met so many amazing people and we are so thankful for their support. Today is about celebrating all that we have achieved and we have some lovely videos from a few of our dear friends that we are going to share with you all.
All my love

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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



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.


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.