A Month Of 1st’s for The Firebirds

The first external training session for Heatwave & Ignite and the first showcase for Inferno as well as a surprise for the team!


We are Emily (this year’s Treasurer) and Megan (this year’s Secretary) and it is our second year on the Firebirds team for both of us!

Emily Treasure and Megan secretary

Here is a little insight into what are job roles consist of and how we support the team through these committee positions:

The role of a treasurer is to manage the clubs’ finances, so I collect subs from all athletes and then go on to spend it on exciting things such as bows, uniforms, and training for the team. The role of a Secretary involves a lot of organisation and admin tasks such as planning committee meetings and recording anything discussed so we as a committee can support the team to our full extent.    

Catch up with what us Firebirds have been up to recently!

Each training season, the Firebirds team has the opportunity to go to an external training venue as our university gym does not have a full-sized sprung floor. Therefore, we go to Unity HQ (UHQ), a large gym with sprung floor and tumble tracks specifically set up and kitted out for cheerleaders. We go there on average about once a month from December to March so we can gain full exposure to how the routine may feel at competition. There we get to do our full outs and perform to our full extent!!

Training at unity allstars gym

We went to our first session at UHQ on the 11th of December.

It is always so intimidating going there and watching all the all-star teams training.

The UHQ sessions are very intense, we don’t often get long on the mat and therefore we have to make the most of the time we have.

This first session of the season at UHQ always feels very hectic, as for many of our athletes it is their first opportunity to run the routine on a full-sized sprung floor. However, it is so amazing to see the progress and hard work finally coming together.

The growth of the team really comes to light at this point in the season, all the effort put in by our coach Libby and external coach Naomi definitely does not go unnoticed. Going to UHQ creates a real buzz within the teams and is a chance to really show everyone’s full abilities and talent. It is also a great chance for both teams to support each other and really bring the atmosphere and mat talk alive!

The main goal for our first session was perfecting the spacing of our routine. Starting with the opening section, working through main stunt, jumps through to tumbles for our tumble Level 1 team Heatwave and then onto the all-time favourite yet energy demanding – pyramid.

It is a very meticulous process but so important to ensure each section flows effortlessly into the next with the hope the overall visual appearance and aesthetic will wow the audience and judges. At this point in the season, we do not have our dance section yet, but once that is choreographed, we would also need to sort spacing for it. We were given our music the Thursday before UHQ which is SO EXCITING because it meant we got to do run throughs with our very own music meaning we could really bring the enthusiasm and energy to the floor – the feeling was electric.

For a few of the team members that cross over onto both Level 1 and Level 2 teams (known as “crossovers”) the three-hour UHQ session is really tough and strenuous. It is very physically demanding but is also so rewarding to see the progress and development of both teams who are being equally challenged in both levels for different reasons. Both of us are crossovers, Megan as a flyer on both teams and Emily as a base for Level 2 and a back spot for Level 1. We can both agree that each team has its challenges but when it comes to solving these challenges everyone remains on board with the main target which is perfecting the routine to put on a great show.

Both of us started with Firebirds last year and we can already see the massive amount of progress between this time last year and this year. We can vividly remember our first UHQ with Heatwave last year and feeling so lost and underprepared but this year it has been so much better. The stunts we are putting forward this year are far more complex and yet are being picked up much quicker and efficiently than last year’s easier stunts. We are also honoured enough as to have some ex-Firebirds return for this season which is so exciting to see.

Here are some testimonies from Myah (Level 1 Base) and Georgia (Level 2 Backspot) so you can get an insight into what being on the Firebirds teams are really like:


Cheerleader Myah

“I’m Myah, I study Paramedic Science and I am a fresher base in the Firebirds Level 1 stunt team. For me, I found the first UHQ training session really exciting as I had never performed on a sprung floor before – it was definitely a weird feeling. The session was about allowing us as a team to make sure that our spacing and stunts were correct on the larger floor. As well as giving us a chance to get a feel for how each of the sections would look through marking routines as well as full outs, especially now that we know what music that the routine will be to. It was also really nice to train somewhere other than uni as a team, it definitely made the thought of performing in competitions in 2023 more real!”

– Myah Paramedic Science first year


Athlete geogira

“Hi, I’m Georgia a first-year Paramedic Science student. In December I joined the rest of the Firebirds for our first UHQ training session this year. Initially it was very daunting to try and work out things such as spacing in this session on the different mats but as a team we all joined together to get there. It was amazing to be able to finally start to see the routine start to come together even more and to be on a sprung floor! Training in this session made me even more excited for the season ahead of us and to see us all continue to work together and build on the friendships already made!”

Georgie Paramedic Science first year

New Pom Uniforms for Inferno and an upcoming showcase!

The pom team Inferno has also been doing some incredible things. The team will be going to a showcase at the end of January to show off all the skills they have developed so far and their incredible routine choreographed by their coach Ellie Buck. Before Christmas, the girls all received a huge surprise which greeted them at the start of their penultimate session before Christmas… an arrangement of glimmer and glitter was placed in a heart shape on the floor. You guessed it, their uniform and bows for the season were ready!

The cheerleading team getting their new bows and uniform

We cannot wait to see Ellie’s vision of the routine executed onto a large floor and brought to light by the pom girls. We are sending all the Firebird love to the floor for their upcoming performance.

 Here is a testimony from Alice on her time on the pom team so far.


“Hi, my name is Alice and I am a third-year Paramedic student. Taking up pom has been a fun challenge for me as I wanted to try a style of cheer more similar to dance. Since October we have learnt how to turn, jump and definitely bring the sass. Building on our routine each week brings a lot of fast paced choreography, but we can look back and feel proud of how far we’ve come since week one.” – Alice

Alice Third -year Paramedic

As you can see our busy cheer life means our Christmas break is well deserved but we are so excited to come back in January and work towards the best routine for competition season. We cannot wait to show you what else we get up to in the upcoming months as competition season gets closer day by day.

Until next month guys

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Get to know SGSU Firebirds!

Hello, we are St George’s Firebirds! We’re the UK’s only Healthcare Specialist University Cheer Team.

As a healthcare university we pride ourselves on the following strong values, running throughout our three
teams, which embraces inclusivity, familism and teamwork.

This year our Pom Team, Inferno and Level 2 non-tumble team, Ignite, united with our original Level 1
tumble team Heatwave. All these teams are set to compete this season on mat – it’s a big year of growth
for the Firebirds.
Each month two committee members from SGSU Firebirds will write the monthly diary entries to ensure
you are kept up to date on what the Firebirds have been up to!
So, without further ado let’s get to know the Firebirds 22/23 committee.

To start our first diary entry, we thought after you have got to know the committee what better way to introduce you to the team by us telling you about what we as Firebirds are all about and recent events we have been up to!

The SGSU Firebird committee 2022-2023


Hi, I am Lily and I am the Firebirds President this season. I began my cheerleading journey two years ago
when I joined a varsity team in my hometown after giving up acrobatic gymnastics which I had
competed in from the age of four. I decided it was time to try something new. As I joined university
away from home, I wanted to continue my fitness and exercise and was instantly, having also been a
dancer, drawn to the idea of cheerleading. Soon seniors on the team took me under their wing and
supported me not only through cheerleading by also academically and this resulted in me making some
of my best friends through the Firebirds. Being in my second year of university and studying Therapeutic
Radiography cheer is very important to me as it is a way, I can rest from studying and find time to
socialize. I am very excited and honored to be Firebirds President this season with our team growing this
year to me it’s important we remain just as close as a team and the bonds between the teams remain.
Supporting each other not only physically through cheering but also mentally is very important to us
Firebirds. Bring on season 22/23!


Hi! My name is Adam, and I am the Captain of The SGSU Firebirds. I am a 3rd-year medical student here
at St. George’s, and the experience of training and performing with this group of inspiring women and
men has been unbelievable. No matter your age, gender, style, skills – this team has created an
environment where everyone can express themselves and show what they’re made of. It’s my job to
help boost our athlete’s confidence in themselves, focus their efforts and attention during training, and
help our coaches get their vision for the team across. This is only my second year in Cheer, so it’s a huge
privilege to be part of the team and I’m excited for what we can achieve this competition season.


Hi everyone! I’m Libby and I’m the head cheer coach (I oversee Heatwave and Ignite). This is my 3rd year
coaching for Firebirds, and I really think this is going to be our best season yet!
Alongside coaching our lovely cheer teams, I also study medicine and am in my 4th year.
I have previously competed as an allstar cheerleader for nearly a decade with ICE athletics and Unity
Allstars, but have taken a step back as an athlete this season to focus more on coaching!
My goal for this season is to give both of my teams exciting and visually pleasing routines to make the
crowd say “wow”. The level of talent we have on our cheer teams is higher than we have ever seen, and
I am so excited to see what they can achieve!


Hello, my name is Ellie I am a final year medical student. I am the Head Coach of Inferno, our pom team.
My role includes choreographing a routine, leading training sessions as well as designing bows and
uniforms. I have been part of the Firebirds since I started at St George’s (6 wonderful years ago). I have
also been part of committee for 4 of these years including roles such as the president and treasurer. I
love this team, and the family I have found and I’m so excited to spend my final year coaching. This is
Inferno’s first competitive season, and I want our debut to be flaming hot and to finish my Firebird
career with a bang! I’m so proud of how the Firebirds have grown over the past six years and I’m proud
to be part of that journey by introducing Inferno to the cheer community!


Heya, my name is Emily, I am a 3rd year Bsc Biomedical science student and I’m the treasurer for the
Firebirds this year. My role is taking care of anything to do with money, including collecting subs and
paying for merch and uniforms. This is only my second year on the team but I absolutely love it, it really
is like having a family away from home. I am on the Level 1 team as the shortest back spot and the Level
2 team as a base. This season I’m hoping to win a few competitions but more importantly to put out the
best routine on the mat that we can. I want to walk off the mat and feel proud of our achievement as a


Hi I’m Megan and I’m a third year medical student. I am the secretary for this year and it’s my second
year as part of the Firebird family!
My role as secretary includes a lot of organization and admin tasks such as planning committee
meetings and keeping note of anything discussed. I can’t wait to see what this new year brings for us as
a committee and team.
This year I am a flyer for both the level 1 and level 2 teams which is a huge privilege. This year especially
I can really see the determination and strength from everyone on the team and I can’t wait to have the
best season yet! My goal for this season is to continue making the society feel inclusive and welcoming
to all members, Firebirds have really shaped my time at uni and I hope I can do the same back.


Hi my name’s Aurora and I am a 1st year BSc Clinical Pharmacology student, and I am the Assistant
Coach for Firebirds this year. In this role I help teach the team new skills and give ideas to help and
support with the choreography.
I have previously competed at Kobika star lites, TCA, Chiltern Cheetahs and am currently a member of
Unity allstars Smoke (level 4 NT) and am excited to start coaching.
This is my first year on Firebirds and also on the committee and I am already loving it. As this is my first
season coaching my goal is to make sure everyone becomes the best cheerleaders they can be, have fun
and maybe even bring home a win.


Hi my name’s Izzy. After being made to feel so welcome into the Firebirds last season I returned to the
team this year as one of the Social Secretaries to help build bonds within the team with fun socials. I
hope the friendships created at these events will help us put out an amazing performance at comp
where everyone enjoys themselves and smashes their routine.


Hi I’m Lauren and I’m one of the social secs. Along with another social sec, we put on socials every week
to help bring all three teams together and for everyone to have a bit of fun. I am a second year med and
this is my second year on the team This year I hope all teams form life long friendships through cheer
and the socials and allow the team to grow stronger so we can all put our best performances out at


Hey, my name is Leonie and I am the Wellbeing Officer for the Firebirds. I’m the person to turn to when
someone in the society has a problem or any worries. I aim to be someone to listen and support each
member of the team whenever they need. This is my second year with the firebirds, and my second-year
cheering (my background is gymnastics). I am a base and tumbler on the level 1 team and love it! This
year I want to help perform the best possible routine we can and to make some amazing memories
together as a team.


Hey my name is Veronika and this year I am the Fitness Secretary for the Firebirds. I am a second year
uni student studying BSc Clinical Pharmacology, meaning it’s my second year with the Firebirds and my
first year on committee.
My role is to work in partnership with our lovely Gymnastics Secretary to ensure our teams are
competition ready with their skills! We hold a weekly additional training session where all 3 teams are
welcome and this makes a great environment to meet other teammates that you perhaps wouldn’t see
as much otherwise.
So far we have focused on stamina, strength and conditioning in jumps, and flexibility. We have also
held some fun themed sessions. One example was our joint yoga session with the Football society!
My goal for this year is for all our teams to smash their routines on the comp floor and hit ZERO. I want
everyone to walk off knowing they did their utmost best and possibly even take home a win!


Hey my name is Simona! I’m a 2nd paramedic science student and I am the Gymnastics sec this year for
the SGSU firebirds. In my role I work closely with the fitness sec to ensure the team has the best fitness
level and gymnastics technique possible for competitions. This is only my second year on the team but
the firebirds are just like family and made me feel welcome from day one. This year for the team I would
love to see more team members finding their confidence with tumbling and improving our stamina so
we can smash out our routines and hopefully hit zero on the comp floor!


Hello! My name is Mae, I’m a final year medical student. I am the tour secretary this year. I am
responsible for organizing tour and making sure everyone has an amazing time when we’re away!
I have been on the team for all my 6 years at university. This year I really want to make sure this tour is
one to remember.
Being part of the society has really made my time at university such an incredible, accepting and happy
experience. Full of incredible friendships and good times. I know when I go to training my day will be a
little bit brighter and for that I’m always grateful.

Who we are and what we are all about!

With the start of the season kicking off with many socials and chances for the teams to get to know one another our amazing social secretaries Isobel Preece and Lauren Body have written our December diary entry.

Hi, we are Isobel and Lauren, and we are this year’s Social Secretaries!

Right from the start Firebirds have been built on the mindset of inclusivity, with this being written in to the constitution and that everyone who tries-out, makes a team.

The team has a large age range with the university consisting of 30% graduates with our teams’ ages ranging from 18 to 30 years old. Furthermore, both Heatwave and Ignite are co-ed teams and consist of students taking a wide range of courses within healthcare including Medicine, Paramedic Science, Clinical Pharmacology, Biomedicine, Therapeutic Radiography, Diagnostic Radiography and Physiotherapy.

In addition, our committee consists of members from First to Fifth Year, so we can be sure that the entire team’s voice is heard and appreciated.

Teamwork plays an obvious role in all cheerleading teams, but Firebirds go further by extending beyond the mat. We not only support each other through training and stunts but also academically and emotionally.

Our mat talk isn’t just exclusive to the gym and instead is projected through all aspects of our life, socials and our degrees. It’s also reflected in our academic performance with all Firebirds excelling on and off the mat.

As a team when it comes so getting support from our student union given that we are one of the biggest societies at St.Georges our SU pay a portion of our costs and as well as this promotes us on their website and social media.

Family and belonging are the pinnacle of SGULs values and is mirrored by us as Firebirds.

Our university has a scheme in which First Year students (Fresher’s) are taken under the wings of senior Firebird students within a family program.

The family Turner was founded by our devoted Pom Coach, Ellie Buck, and all aspiring Firebirds are adopted in concordance. This has been extremely well received with First Year students quoting Turner and the Firebirds family as their main line of support throughout any struggles during university. 

In Freshers’ week, a social event is held within each family encouraging bridges to form between family members – something attributed to our unbreakable bonds.

With the three teams, naturally there are different training times and speculation may allude to divides, however, we ensure weekly socials are maintained, where the entire Firebirds family can gather and get to know one another in more depth.

One of our most treasured socials this year had been pub golf. This is an annual classic occasion where all of the team gets together for some friendly competition. A special shout-out goes to the winners this year! Other socials of note have been UH night where all London medical school sports teams get paired-up and go for a curry, then eventually ending the night at Clapham’s renowned ‘Infernos’ club. This year we were lucky enough to be paired with Kings College London’s cricket team and Imperial College’s tennis team.

A new addition to this years’ calendar was the Pride Circles event. This was such a fun and enjoyable event and we are so incredibly proud of how many people came to support this activity. Other events included Halloween Sharks and Lifeguard’s Circles and 101 Dalmatian’s Fresher’s Circles which started the academic year off and was a great way to get to know members of the team.

We also organize non-drinking socials as we recognize not everything needs to revolve around alcohol and making sure everyone has the opportunity to be involved, our most recent event has been our annual Christmas dinner, which was great fun to enjoy together.

Until next month guys

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What it means to be a cheerleader

As we’re nearing the end of the season we start to fill with a variety of emotions. You might be
feeling pure bliss for what you’ve achieved over the past season, a season we’ll never forget. You
might be excited for what is yet to come. There’s also that bittersweet feeling that you may
experience, and that may be because you’re hanging up your cheer shoes, you’re moving
programmes, you’re not on the team you’d hoped for, or a general reflection over the past season.
For the most part, the cheerleading community is a very positive and welcoming community.
However, nothing is without it’s faults. Whether that be gender, sexual orientation, race, socio-
economic status or something else entirely – it’s never truly plain sailing. In this article I want to
explore what it truly means to be a cheerleader; the good, the bad and the ugly.

One of the main things I love about cheerleading is that it’s a female dominated industry; from the
athletes, to coaches and event providers. Cheerleading is female empowerment on a tin. Girls
supporting girls, women lifting women – it’s fantastic. However, whilst there’s a super supportive
environment inside the gym, it’s not always the case outside. We’re making huge waves in
cheerleading and I have definitely noticed a huge change in the general public’s perceptions of
cheer. That may be down to the incredible achievements of our UK teams at the ICU & IASF
Worlds, our presence out in the communities; even on television, when people think cheerleading,
they are more inclined to think about Netflix’s Cheer, or Cov’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent,
rather than Bring it On (still an iconic film nonetheless). There are more and more people now that
know someone who cheers, and that helps with the understanding of what we do. That’s not to say
there is no longer ignorance. We’ve all got our horror stories about what non-cheerleaders have
asked. Women and people with uteruses have so much against them; misogyny, the patriarchy,
periods and associated pain (including the worry whilst wearing a white uniform), smear tests,
PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, existential dread but to name a few. All of these have an impact upon our
physical abilities, sometimes without us even realising. Yet still, we show up, we perform and we
achieve our goals. We are incredible.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more, I am a feminist, and the very definition of
feminism is gender equality. So it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention our male, non-binary and other
marginalised gendered cheerleaders. We appreciate our non-female cheerleaders and we love a
good coed team. Yet, cheerleading still isn’t as accessible for males, non-binary and gender
diverse athletes. By accessible I don’t just mean locations and funds – although they can come into
play. When I talk about accessibility, I mean things like stereotypes preventing males taking up our
fabulous sport. Now I’ve not been to school in about ten years but for a lot of us, our school extra-
curricular cheer was our first taste of cheerleading. Back then at least, when the cheer coach
would come in and hand out some flyers about the cheer sessions, they were only given out to the
girls, all the pictures on the flyers were of girls. So why would a boy want to join?

Even if you get past that first barrier, once you’re in, if you don’t adhere to the male/female binary,
what team do you go on, what uniform do you wear? I have so much time for teams who have time
for their athletes without putting them in a box. It needs to be commonplace to have a choice of
uniform and be catered for. We need to get out of the mindset that the gender binary is the default –
it’s not. Just because someone has a typically sounding female name and long hair, they don’t
necessarily identify as female and the “default” uniform. Even with these obstacles, our male and
gender diverse athletes are incredibly successful.
If we’re talking about accessibility, we need to talk about race. Times are shifting in terms of
opening that dialogue, but we still need to ensure that racial equality is on our mind.

Again, it
comes down to that accessibility. If the promo for the team only has white females on, it may not
seem so inviting for someone who doesn’t fit that narrative. When coaches talk about hairstyles
and tanning for comp, make sure we’re including everyone in those discussions so our athletes of
colour aren’t left second guessing how the comp requirements suit them. Again, move away from
the racial stereotypes. We need more people of colour in flyer positions, or any position they want
to be in. Allow our athletes the same grace no matter their gender, sexuality, disability, body size or

race. It’s not the role of our athletes of colour to be that symbol of change or role model (that’s
tiring work), it’s the role of our coaches to allow them those positions. In doing so, we create a
diverse and welcoming environment for EVERYBODY to THRIVE.
I also want to see more adaptive abilities teams and SEND teams. These are really important but
still pretty scarce.

Once again, there are so many barriers to those with additional needs entering a
sport like cheerleading, so we need to make sure we’re prepared, we have coaches with the
appropriate training and we have the time and place to cater for ALL athletes. We need to adopt an
inclusive environment, not exclusive. Everyone is welcome to cheer, everyone CAN cheer, and
everyone deserves that supportive environment that we all know and love.
As well as these societal prejudices (often placed on us at birth), we have a life outside of cheer.
Add these things together and it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
Sometimes it feels like something needs to give. We need to listen to our bodies, listen to our
teammates, listen to our marginalised genders’ and people of colour’s experiences. We need to
share that burden in order to move forwards for change.
As well as the misogyny and discrimination, we have lives to lead too. We have teachers and
bosses that perhaps don’t appreciate our sport for what it is. We’re constantly challenging views
whilst challenging our bodies with new skills. We deal with break-ups and bereavements with the
support of our teammates; we come back from injuries with the support of our coaches; we expend
literal blood, sweat and tears in the gym; and we break the bank for our fees, uniform and travel
costs; we do it for a mere two minutes and thirty seconds on the comp mat.

The booming music, the glaring lights and the shadow of the judges table. We do it because cheerleading is a pretty terrific sport.

What does it truly mean to be a UK cheerleader? It means that, In spite of all that, we as
cheerleaders take on the weight of centuries of discrimination, and we still perform with a smile and
a wink. On the floor when the lights are bright and the music is booming, that weight doesn’t feel so
heavy and we do it for the love of the sport and the support of our teammates and coaches. When
the weight of the world is bringing you down, learn to rest, not to quit. That goes for all things in life.
Listen to your body. Preventative action is much easier than reactive action. We’re nearing the end
of the season now, so if you need to take a couple of weeks to reset, recuperate, and realign with
your goals (after comp) this is the time to do it.

Be open and honest with your coaches. They’re often pretty good at advice and have likely been in
your situation before. They want to see you do well in and outside of the gym. You might think your
time as an athlete is over, but still want to be involved. Could you take on a recreational class,
volunteer at your programme or get into coaching? There are always options and those around you
will be best placed to advise and support you.
Cheerleading may be a part of your life for just one season, your three years at uni, or half of your
life. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, I’m sure you’ll always hold a special bow-shaped place
in your heart.
That’s all for this month. If you have any topics you’d like us to cover, get in touch! If you find
yourself creating a vision board, be sure to tag us.
Happy goal setting!
Ta’ra for now,

Written by Rachel

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Living the Dream: What it takes to win Worlds

We have a handful of teams who have achieved the greatest honour you can achieve in the Allstar world: winning worlds.

There was a Scottish Pom Duo from Stephanie and Natasha Trainor who won in 2012, plus our Paracheer Pom and Hip Hop (Adaptive Abilities as they are called now, but not then) teams have a handful of gold medals each.

Those are ICU medals. USASF worlds has only ever been conquered by one team and

one team only: ADA Dark Angels, who won once again in 2019 having previously taken

the gold medal in 2008.

ADA was founded by Tracy Bedford in the 1990s. ADA Dark Angels are arguably the

flagship team at Angels Dance Academy in Bristol, although they field worlds teams in

Hip Hop, Jazz and Lyrical. You might remember them from The Greatest Dancer on the

BBC last year (although I highly doubt anyone reading won’t remember)!

We spoke to their head coach, Charlie Bedford, who has been co-owner of ADA for

sixteen years, and two of their athletes, Becky (who was previously featured in our

Freelancing article) and Ruby about how it felt to win worlds, the mindset and work

required to get there and what their take away moments were from the experience of

winning worlds.

Charlie Bedford, Coach

1. Describe the moment you realised you had won worlds?

Winning worlds was a feeling I can’t really explain! I always knew that if I won worlds again

I’d take every minute of it in! The feeling of relief was the most overwhelming feeling! As

weird as that sounds… I always new I would win as my mindset is that way, but although

you’d think joy would be the biggest feeling for me it wasn’t… I felt so content and


2. How long had you waited for it, and how did you manage expectations of the team in the year leading up to it?

Winning is always our mindset…. it takes a lot of training and coaching to mentally prepare

my athletes to manage that expectation but also to know that the possibility of losing is a

lot bigger than winning. The year before we placed 8th in worlds and had a really bad year,

not just because of placing but because of team moral, certain Athletes not being at the

level they needed to be and also a massive learning curve for me as a coach as I didn’t

manage the team how I should have, I let things slip and I took full responsibility! As a

coach it’s your job to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and I didn’t! The 2018 worlds although

being a bad year had to happen… the learning for me was so valuable and we’re the team

today because of 2018! You need set backs!

3. Is there anything as a coach you feel was different in this specific year? (ie. new way of choreographing, different conditioning or just team dynamic?)

I took a completely different approach to coaching, more of a professional way… training

was/is brutal. I am completely open with my team… everyone needs to know where they

stand! Knowing weak links and addressing them straight away. In my teams, everyone

knows who’s the weakest and everyone knows who’s the strongest! You need to all know

this as we all need to be as one on the floor. I also have higher expectations in athletes….

making them accountable as well as myself. Training to win rather than training to

compete, there’s a huge difference between the two!

4. If you could relive one moment again, aside from the announcement you had won, what would it be?

Getting my scores in semi finals, it was just me my wife Steph and my little girl Bea!

Finding out your sitting in first with them two was special and I’ll never forget that moment.

5. What in your mind makes a successful team?

• Honesty from your coach… no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

• Putting the team first always rather than the individual.

• A team that’s willing to give you everything!!! I know I’m biased but my team are beasts

and will go through walls for me and their team mates.

6. Who behind the scenes would you like to thank?

My wife Steph! She’s my absolute rock!

7. What can we look forward to next season?

An absolute showcase!! I’m pushing my team to better themselves every rehearsal!

I cannot wait for you all to see what we’ve been doing.

Athletes Becky Mancini and Ruby Gardiner

Becky Mancini
Ruby Gardiner

1. Describe the moment you realised you had won?


WOW I remember the whole team crumbled to the floor! So overwhelmed with

emotion and just so happy! It was literally euphoric!


The moment they called out 2nd place and the realisation hit that we had won was

AMAZING. You could physically see the whole team crumble and then erupt!! I will never

forget that moment.

2. How did you celebrate?


With the team and all our other worlds teams and family! We won together 1 team

dream! And I got a tattoo to mark the occasion.


With the team and the whole academy. We are one big family, so we celebrated

altogether. (And got a tattoo of the worlds finals date!!)

3. What did you do that you feel most prepared you for worlds – mindset and in training?

Becky: We never train like we’ve won – never complacent. Train like you have nothing to

lose but everything to gain!


You have to find the balance between believing in your self and your team and not

becoming complacent – and I think that we found that perfect balance. Hard work pays off.

4. How often did you train and what was your favourite part of training?

Becky: We train around twice a week however as athletes nearly all of us train in multiple

teams! My fav part oddly is the really tough stuff the being majorly pushed to the point of

exhaustion.That’s where athletes are made!


We trained as a team twice a week but most of our athletes train in multiple teams

as well – I think the team moral is so special in a team. Training is hard and can be

challenging but that’s what makes a difference!

5. What would you most love to relive from that worlds year, aside from placings?


Being back stage after winning getting sized up for our rings – before we walked out

to greet our family’s we had a moment as a team where we huddled in and just soaked it

up! I’ll never forget that moment with my team! My family!


Being backstage day 2 was one of the best experiences when I think back to worlds

2019 sitting in 1st place. You could see in every single persons eyes how much we wanted

this, and it just felt really different, I didn’t feel nervous at all, I just felt so excited and

wanted to get on that stage and perform and hold our spot!!

6. What – to you – makes a winning team?


Teamwork, discipline and accountability!


Hard work, dedication, trust, (and an amazing coach)

7. Now you’re a world champion, what are you focussing on now for the future?


Being a returning world champ of course 🤷


Keeping our spot !! The hard work never stops, if anything we need to work even

harder now!!

You can watch the 2019 world champion routine here:

You can keep up with their next season on their instagram @adadarkangels or @angelsdanceacademy. 

Written by Emma

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University Cheer expose : Chester Vixen


Hey guys,

CFHTT had the pleasure talking Rachel from Chester Vixen to find why university cheerleading is like at Chester university

Tell us about Chester Vixens cheer history.


This one took quite a bit of investigation and contacting previous captains. The Chester Vixens were formed in 2005, and first competed only in Pom at BCA Nationals, 2006. We first started competing in Cheer in 2011. I think we may have dabbled in Level 2 a couple of times, however we’re such a small uni that Level 1 is most appropriate (at least right now).  We mostly recruit complete newbies to cheer, but have had a number of experienced cheerleaders who have competed at worlds with the likes of Unity Allstars, Coventry Dynamite, Rising Stars and Team England Para Pom. More recently we have been Future Cheer University National Champions consecutively since 2014, however we have picked up countless national and regional wins before that.

At Chester university is your cheerleading team consider a sport or a society?

Since 2014 we have been recognised as a sport!

Do you get any support from your university?

It’s the Student’s Union that run all the sports at Chester, without them, we wouldn’t exist. Whilst we don’t get as much attention as we’d like to because Cheerleading isn’t in BUCS (who cares that we’re 4x national champs…), I would say we are in a better position than a lot of other University Cheer Teams. We pay a (relatively cheap) one off membership fee which covers our entry into two national competitions, transport to these, choreography and transport to basketball games. We’re very lucky that an ex-Vixen is a choreographer who travels all the way up to Chester each year, this is covered by the SU as well. She’s such a queen, so talented!

And of course we pay for our uniforms, training kits, bows and poms. So from that side of things, we’re pretty lucky.

We are currently in a battle with the university to allow us storage for two new roll mats. We currently have two, and have the money for two more after our girls worked FC Bournemouth 2016 and put their earnings towards this. Having an extra two mats would mean we can at least all stunt at the same time. We definitely will get them though, we won’t give up on that one!

You have been Future Cheer All-Girl Level 1 University National Champions from 2014-present CONGRATULATION 🙂  what does that mean to your team and what do you do that keeps you on top form?

12728937_1082525025144800_5012917679817811539_nEvery win does feel like the first. One thing we’re definitely not is complacent. We understand that our division gets tougher each year. Gone are the days of thigh-stands; level 1 has become so creative! We know we’re never going to score in the top bracket in tumbles, so the main thing we work on is being clean. Whilst we do have a good track record of winning, I’d like to think we’re still a humble team. The relationships and bonds between athletes are so important and I think that gets highly overlooked. We really are a cheer family who support each other throughout the season.

How many teams do you have and what does each team do?”

POMChester’s quite a small university, yet we do get a high turnout each year! We have three teams, Level 1 Cheer (who just get known as ‘Cheer’), Pom, and Prep Squad. Prep Squad are our development/performance team who cheer and perform weekly at basketball games. Unlike other universities who have access to high-level coaches, we coach everything ourselves. In the past Prep-Squad have created routines that are similar to Pom.

pom (3)They said it was difficult because unlike Cheer and Pom where we have rules and scoresheets, they didn’t know where their boundaries were. This season I created almost a ‘rulebook’ so they could execute things safely and have targets. It’s basically a mix of Pom and Level 0 cheer. Whilst some people join Prep Squad as a fun way of being involved in cheerleading without the pressures of competing, others are completely new to cheer and hope to get onto our Level 1 team in the future. We’re hoping with the introduction of basic stunts and tumbling, we will see more progress from our athletes in Prep Squad.

We also have a Level 2 Group Stunt which will see its third season this year. Whilst the majority of the team are newbies to cheer, the athletes that get chosen for our Group Stunt have often cheered previously in higher level teams

How many hours a week do you train?

Each team trains two hours a week. In the run up to competitions, Cheer and Pom get another hour and half per week that we share depending on where each other are at with the routines.



What was your biggest achievement last season?

There are so many achievements we could pick. Both Group Stunt and Pom knocked our socks off, to improve their results placing second at nationals. But it would have to be the fourth consecutive win for Cheer despite losing 6 points worth of infractions (which we’re all trying to forget).

How do you decide what competition you are going to attend?

pom iccHistorically, we’ve always competed BCA and Future Cheer. Our routines tend to be more suited to Future Cheer. We love the atmosphere and always do well at FC, that’s why we always compete there. In recent years we’ve not placed so well at BCA, so this past season we thought we’d try our luck at ICC Nationals, which proved a fantastic move for Pom! Myself and my Vice Captain have always been big fans of ICC, their scoresheets, the atmosphere and their reputation, so we’ve decided to go back this season.

What was your favourite cheerleading competition of the past season?

Again, that’s a difficult one. As much as we all enjoyed Future Cheer, as we always do, ICC was fantastic. The session before we competed saw the senior All Star teams and those competing for Worlds Bids. As a large majority of our athletes never cheered before uni, it was great for them to see All Star teams and be wowed by Level 5 (which you don’t see in university divisions). Whilst we didn’t get the result we were hoping for in Cheer, our Pom team absolutely slayed.

Does your team do other things apart from compete?

Prep Squad BasketballAbsolutely! Like I’ve already mentioned, Prep Squad don’t compete and perform at basketball games. Aside from actual cheerleading we go out on weekly, fancy dress themed, Wednesday night Socials. This year we’re hoping to do some more sober daytime socials and team-bonding activities. We also do an awful lot of charity fundraising. This year we raised £2000 for a wide range of charities! We hosted evenings at our SU, participated in a Mud Run, operation Christmas child and did a Sponsored Sleepout for Chester’s Aid to the Homeless – to name a few!


What are your goals for this season

We haven’t got any goals set in stone for this season just yet. We are going to wait until the end of October to set them, to see what talent we have. But with Cheer we are looking to gain that fifth-peat at FC Nationals, and place top 3 at ICC Nationals. In Pom, we are hoping to place top 3 at both FC and ICC Nationals. We are also hoping to win an award from the SU at the annual Sports Presentation Evening.


It’s that time of year where you guys will be recruiting what you are looking for from students?

More than anything, we are looking for hardworking individuals. Experience and tumbling skills would be grand, but enthusiasm and hard work come above everything.

Why should people join your team?

pyramidAside from the fact we win things, we’re such a welcoming team. We cater for all abilities! Whether you just want to try something new, or you’ve competed at worlds. You’d honestly be surprised how creative and difficult Level 1 can be! Aside from cheering, we’re such a supportive community socially, most of our best friends at uni are cheerleaders. We volunteer and fundraise too, which all looks great on your CV!

What useful skills has cheerleading taught you?”

It sounds obvious, but cheerleading really does teach teamwork; better than any university group project I’ve ever done. If you don’t work as a team, stunts won’t hit, timings will be off and cheer just wouldn’t be cheer. Not only do cheerleaders show great teamwork during training, but we cheer each other during competitions, often our “rival” teams too. We’re also there for each other for unrelated things, like uni work, family and relationship problems; often being each other’s participants for dissertation projects, or even when you fancy a late-night pizza because you’re bored.

“Are there any transferable skills that you have learnt from cheer that you can use later on in life?”

Teamwork is definitely transferable in the workplace. Whether you’re working on a group project, having to deal with an annoying co-worker or even just working towards targets. I’d also say dedication and determination. These again can be transferred to work and relationships. Unfortunately, in life, there are always going to obstacles put in your way, in whatever you do. Keeping that initial fire, staying committed and determined is key for success.

What would your lives be without cheer?

charity (2)Our lives would be super boring without cheer. Without tagging each other in bomb dance sections or cheer fails, without getting all prepped for comps or even that questionable Wednesday night dance-off on third floor Rosies (a Chester nightclub), our lives would be super empty. For a lot of us at university, cheerleading not only serves as a sport we love, but as a distraction and release from university work and stress. More than any other sport I’ve participated in, there’s such a huge rush of excitement when you hit a routine you’ve been working your backside off for all season surrounded by your teammates.

Do you guys use social media platforms?

We do indeed! Facebook: Chester Vixens

Instagram, twitter & snapchat: uoccheerleading

Is there any other information you would like to share with CFHTT?

national champsOne thing I would like to share with CFHTT readers is to not overlook your uni team if you’re an All Star cheerleader. We may not be able to max out tumbling and stunting difficulties, or have the best training facilities. But at uni you realise that your cheer team are worth way more than just your teammates. A lot of big names in the cheer world started as a uni cheerleaders. When you think about how short our season is, and the constant conveyor belt of athletes, you’ll realise just how impressive both our athletes and the sport in general actually is.

Lastly what is your favourite UK Cheer team (apart from your team) and your favourite International cheer team and why?

coventry dymThis season my favourite UK Cheer Team was Ignite, Coventry Dynamite. I love their choreography and stunting creativity. Super sad to see them go, but as excited to what they have planned for the new season, especially with Ammunition. My favourite international team has to be Cali, Reckless. Level 6 gives me life, it’s like watching the circus with the insane stunts. Also, the programme has such a good ethos, the athletes are so hardworking and humble.

Check out Chester Vixen winning their 4 consecutive National title



Until next time guys

love  CFHTT

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Announcing – Team England ParaCheer 2017 Worlds teams!

Hi guys Paracheer.org have just released the  Coaches and Athletes who will be representing England at the 2017 ICU Cheerleading World Championships in the brand new ParaCheer divisions

Team England ParaCheer



Head Coach: Uri Verthime
Assistant Coaches: Zoe Reed, Nikki Murphy


Amelia Hayashida
Antonia Graham
David Knowles
Emily Alner
Emma Ireland
Emma Nock
Emmie Deer
Gwenllian Evans
James Vodrey
Kat Knowles
Kat Madine
Leah Evans
Melly McLaughlin
Nick Simmons
Paige Collins
Rebecca Lally
Rick Rodgers
Sam Cunningham
Sarah Bishton
Scott Archibald
Steph Malfatti
Victoria Gillett
Vivien Lee
Wendy Armitage

Team England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom



Head Coach: Aaron Simmonds
Assistant Coaches: Sammi Connell, Sheila Salvador


Amelia Davies
Annabel Flay
Celsie Ellis
Ceri Solomon
Cherry Grimes
Danielle Cheetham
Eleanor Downs
Jamie-Lee Driver
Katlyn Harvey
Maisie Douglas
Molly Gale
Naomi Hayzen
Niamh Coveney
Rachel Berenson-Perkins
Ruby Payne
Sophia Michiko
Stacey Dyer
Sydney-Beau Thompson

CFHTT is so excited for your history making  journey and will be supporting you guys all the way!!

Show your support and share this post

Until Next time guys

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QM Angels


CFHTT, got to sit down with  coach of Queen Mary Angels  Clare who will be taking the team into their 7 season

Hi Clare


Tell us about Queen Mary Angels cheer history.


QM Angels (QMA) represents Queen Mary University of London in Mile End, and Barts and the London Medical and Dental School in Whitechapel, both in East London (shortened to QMBL). The team has existed for about 9 years, starting as a successful pom-dance team, before I was invited to be their Cheerleading coach 7 seasons ago.

How many teams do you have and what does each team do?

Our team gets bigger every year, starting with one team at Coed Level 2 seven years ago, then growing to 2, then 3 teams, and now we have 4 full Cheer teams of approximately 30 athletes each. Last season we had teams from Levels 1-4, both Coed and All Girl.  We also have various group stunts and partner stunts.  There’s a lot of us!


How many hour a week do you train

img_4938We have 2 training sessions a week at the unsociable hours of Friday night and Sunday morning!  Our teams have one 3-hour session a week that’s compulsory, and then various opportunities to train more throughout the week.



What was your biggest achievement last season?

Our biggest achievement last season was taking a large squad of 105 athletes to competitions, and having all our teams hit their routines and be proud of themselves, as well as the team they represent, especially since we increased our difficulty for our final competition.  We had a lot of success in terms of winning and placing, but more importantly, a really inclusive and positive culture all season, and so much support across our teams for one another.


How do you decide what competition you are going to attend?

img_6323I usually decide which competitions we go to before the season starts, as we have to plan as far in advance as we can, in order to ensure we have the training space and funds to compete.  We plan out as much as possible, including charity events and socials, so we have a near complete calendar.  This really helps our members in terms of payment deadlines, and arranging their workload from their courses.  This helps our students plan their time effectively, especially our medical and dental students who have such demanding schedules.  We are very limited when it comes to travel and budget, so tend to stay close to London if possible, and also look for opportunities for our teams to compete across a big division and against other universities.


 Your team Royalty were crown grand champions at ICC what did that mean to your team

img_0183Winning Grand Champs at ICC was absolutely insane, as we honestly did not expect it at all.  At University competitions, it is so common that Grand Champs goes to a lower level team that maximises on the scoresheet, and so we had no idea we had any chance of winning such a title.   We took the decision to compete our most skilled team at Level 4, as we wanted a challenge and to push the possibilities of University cheer.  It was our first time at ICC, and we went alone without the rest of our team.  It was nerve-wracking to compete in such a new environment, and quite late at night as we were one of the last teams of the day, but the team were so focused on putting out a clean and energetic routine with as much skill and difficulty as we could.   They exceeded my expectations with their performance.  We were so happy to have hit our routine and then win our division that we were celebrating and taking photos when they announced it, and when we heard our name we were thinking – did they mean us?  When the staff waved us over, I was shocked and thought there may have been a mistake.  Our athletes were absolutely overwhelmed.  For many of them the thought of winning a jacket just wasn’t a possibility for us this season, or possibly ever so it really did mean so much to us all.  We felt so privileged for this honour and probably still aren’t over it!  We all wore our Grand Champs jackets on the coach back to London that night (despite them being pretty thick – it was a sweaty ride!).   I wouldn’t say there is even one individual that does Cheer at QMA for the awards and trophies, our athletes train with us to be part of the team, and anything else is a happy surprise.  We have such a humble and inclusive team ethos and they had worked so, so hard to get level appropriate tumbles and stunts and to perfect the routine, so I truly believe they deserved it.  None of our tumblers could tumble before joining QMA, and some of our athletes were on our level 1 and 2 team last season, so I was utterly thrilled to see them rewarded for being role models for the sport, as well as fabulous athletes.


 “What was your favourite cheerleading competition of the past season?”

img_8208We really enjoyed ICC last season, everyone was very welcoming to us as a new team.  We also enjoy BCA Uni Comp in Telford – great atmosphere and a nice end to the season to compete over two days.  We also attended FC Uni Nationals as we like seeing so many other Uni teams all together, and competing in large divisions.  It used to be a small competition, so everyone would sit close to the front and you could really feel the crowd’s energy whilst performing, and was really good at nurturing emerging teams.  Now it has changed venue and is very grand.  It’s our freshers’ first experience of being on the mat and I think sets the tone for how competitive the sport is which is equally as good.


Does your team do other things apart from compete?

img_1548Our team is very close, despite being so huge!  We have weekly socials with loads of different activities – bowling, lazer quest, food, pub golf, more food, and nights out at our Union bar, the infamous Drapers (if you know, you know).  We also have Hail Mary once a month.  This is where all the sports teams social together at Drapers to celebrate our sporting achievements.  There are lots of traditions in this event such as ‘Session’ where we all wear matching social tops (a different colour for each sport) and play games and enjoy the delights of Red Beer.  One team hosts it each month and at Midnight shows a spoof video of their club and mocking the other clubs (Rugby and Football are prime targets).   It’s unique to Queen Mary and always a brilliant night.  We also do fundraising and charity events through the year.   I think what we mostly do outside of training is attend open gym!

estela-rodriguez-hernandez-12042644_10100309042001160_8415646095620963942_nWe are fortunate to have open gyms available at East London Gymnastics club and Talent Central (Ascension Eagles’ gym) almost every night of the week.  During the season and over the summer, you will almost always find QMA athletes there, probably in blue and white QMA merchandise training hard because they just love the sport.  We also run open sessions at the University called ‘Get Active’ where any QM students can drop in and train throughout the year. So although our teams only train together one session a week, we see each other about five times a week!


What are your goals for this season

img_8208Next season our goal, as always, is to maintain, and build, on the reputation and success of the club, and most importantly ensure our members enjoy their time at QMA.  We have grown our membership and opportunities year on year so hopefully we can continue to provide a brilliant experience for more and more athletes.  We also want to build on all the opportunities we have had so far to develop our skill level, and continue to be thought of as one of the top University teams.


It’s that time of year where you guys will be recruiting what you are looking for from student?

In terms of recruiting new members for the upcoming season, we want to send the message that everyone is welcome!  We do not hold try-outs to be on any of our competitive teams, and have opportunities for everyone to get involved in QMA, regardless of current ability or commitment levels.  I truly believe in sport being inclusive, and I think that’s why we have been so successful as a club.  Our most skilled athletes, some of whom have gone on to compete on Worlds teams such as Unity Allstars Black,, and Surrey Starlets Amethyst, came to QMA with no more tumbling than a questionable forward roll and absolutely no experience of Cheer.  We are proud to develop our athletes, not just recruit them.


Why should people join QM Angels ?”

img_4825Why do I think you should join QMA?  Because there is a place for EVERYONE and you won’t regret it!  I’ve worked and been part of many teams over the years and I can promise you that QMA is special. You will have the time of your life and do things you never thought possible.  You will be challenged, you will be supported, you will have fun, you will get fitter, and generally it will take over your life – and complete your University experience.  You will be part of one of the most diverse, and biggest clubs that will value you for being you.


“What useful skills has cheerleading taught you?”

Cheerleading teaches many useful skills that I think benefit our athletes beyond their time at QMA.  Being committed to something, time management, keeping to deadlines, working as part of a team towards a goal, resilience, and confidence.  Allowing yourself to try new things and fail at them sometimes in the learning process.  To have fun and make friends from all over the world.  Putting the common good before your own.  Sport is hugely important for young people to have an outlet and a place to feel included yet challenged to be the best they can.  Cheerleading is unlike any sport in that I believe any person can make progress in their own way.



“Are there any transferable skills that you have learnt from cheer that you can use later on in life?”

Now that I am old (as QMA constantly remind me!), I can see what a difference Cheer has made.  I am much more organised and focused.  I have the confidence in myself to lead and perform that I never had until finding Cheer in my second year of Uni.  I am reminded constantly working with QMA of how valued this sport and team is to them and how appreciative they are when they have to move on and leave Cheer and QMA behind.  Our athletes are all extremely successful people of their own virtue, but cheer does make a difference in shaping them and giving them the best out of University life.


What would your lives be without cheer?

img_1203Life without cheer?  Is there such a thing!?  Boring I guess!  Less fulfilled.  I had done many sports before but Cheerleading is something I haven’t been able to leave behind.  I think it’s the same for our club.  We have a huge number of people who stay with us and compete and train as alumni, and even those who do move on always come back to visit and train with us!  Even from as far as Scotland and Prague!


“Do you guys use social media platforms?”

We do use social media, we have a YouTube channel which has showreels and all our past routines (the most up to date and the truly vintage!).  We use Instagram a lot to communicate what the club is up to to the general public.  And of course Facebook is actually Cheerbook – we use this constantly to keep in touch with our members and alumni.  We also use twitter to keep people up to date with what’s happening at QMA.

“Is there any other information you would like to share with CFHTT?”

img_3480I think our inclusivity and willingness to teach anyone from the ground up has led to us being so successful, and to year on year having a high proportion of male athletes.  I think we are one of the biggest Uni teams in the UK with 4 cheer teams, and have won many divisions and titles at many levels.  We have also achieved Grand Champions twice for Coed Level 3 at BCA and once with ICC at Coed Level 4.  We are really proud of our team for all our successes and the routines we put onto the floor, but also for the enjoyment of our members.  We also emphasise the importance of Sportsmanship toward others, and have had some really lovely messages from other coaches saying how supportive our members have been to other teams – I think that in itself is success.   I believe it is important to give our members the best during their short time at University.  Through the hard work and commitment of the members to bettering their skills, we have been able to, over the years, compete at higher and higher levels with our most advanced team.

img_8483We started off in Coed 2, then moved to Coed 3, are now Coed 4 and competed in Coed 6.  There is always a lot of conversation about teams being level appropriate, and maybe because of this University cheer has not been able to come into its own.  Safety is the number one priority of course, but for many of our athletes, they only have a short window to cheer (3-4 years) before it ends.  That, coupled with a much shorter season that Allstar cheer (ours is October to April,) means we have much less time to progress.  We have always tried to push our more advanced athletes to compete at the highest level they can, and believe me they rise to the occasion!  The decision to compete at Level 6 was a difficult one to make, but we believed we could do it and wanted to Cheer in a more Collegiate appropriate way (Universities internationally all compete with Open/Level 6 rules).   We believe University Cheer should not follow the Allstar development, but rather develop down its own progressive path.  Many teams do Varsity events and matches where they can perform these skills at a game or performance, but we do not have a Varsity match against another Uni to take part in.  As a result of taking the plunge to put out a Collegiate routine, QMA have been very lucky in the opportunities we have been afforded by many generous event producers and companies.

img_6138We have competed at the European Championships for BCA in Cheer Coed 6 and Coed Group Stunt.  We attended ICU University Worlds in Florida for Future Cheer which was a once in a lifetime experience.  Four of our coaches recently attended UCA Spirit Camp in Wisconsin that Varsity UK helped us to organise, to better understand Collegiate style Cheerleading.  We would love the University cheer scene to work more collaboratively, so that we can develop the sport more effectively throughout the UK.  This season we hope to reach out to other Uni teams, so we can share our respective experiences, train together and create more of a community.

University cheer is unique and dynamic, and in my opinion houses a huge amount of talent and progression.


Lastly what is your favourite UK Cheer team (apart from your team) and your favourite International cheer team and why?

My favourite UK cheer team is Goldstar Galaxy.  When I first started cheerleading I saw them compete and couldn’t believe that what they were doing was real life.  They have always had the most flawless stunting technique, they push the bar with difficulty, and Claire McKay is an amazing choreographer.  They literally never disappoint at competition.  Internationally, it has to be the Chinese Taipei National Coed 6 team (National team for Taiwan at ICU) and Monster Cheerleading from Taipei, Taiwan (a lot of athletes do both teams).   Cheer in Taiwan does not get enough credit whatsoever.  I was fortunate enough to train with them and get to know them last year.  I have never seen so much talent in my entire life at the Monster Cheer Team open gym – it was like being in a YouTube video.  Every person there was throwing round-off full rewinds like it was nothing, back handspring double ups, rewind cupies, all sorts of inverted baskets.  It was insane.  They are most definitely on par with the Americans, but are normal sized people!  What struck me most was how incredibly humble and welcoming they were.  Everyone spots each other in large groups and every claps and congratulates one another and helps one another.  No matter what skill you throw, there are people there willing you and supporting you to succeed. They only recently found a small space for a half size sprung floor, before this they trained outside on concrete so opportunities and funding are far and few between.  They won Gold against Team USA last year at ICU 2015 after taking Silver for many years and I have never met people more deserving.  For such a small island where Cheer is unknown, that is an unbelievable achievement.  I urge you to get on YouTube and watch Chinese Taipei at ICU and Monster Cheer Team Black Team and their partner stunts and become a fan!  There are also far too many University teams that we enjoy seeing at competitions that deserve much more credit than they get. I wouldn’t have space to fit them all in, but we do try to congratulate them over social media and show our appreciation



Until next time guys

love  CFHTT

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Leeds Celtics

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HI Leeds Celtics


10505080_10205469617873634_1035135967951124370_oTell us about Leeds Celtic  cheer history.

Leeds Celtics is one of the University of Leeds’ most accomplished sports clubs that boasts over 10 years of award-winning seasons. Cheerleading is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and we’re proud to have already made our mark as the most successful University cheerleading programme in the country.

How many teams do you have and what does each team do?

14264054_10154794155409341_1733047146417581396_nWe have 1 Match Team, 1 competitive Pom Dance Team and 3 Competitive Cheer Teams. Our Match Team support the University American Football and Basketball Teams, whilst all our Competitive teams train hard for their competitions throughout the season.



How many hours a week do you train?

Match = 2 hours a week

Pom – 2 hours a week

Level 1/2 = 3 hours a week

Level 3 = 4 hours a week.

We regularly train extra hours closer to the competitions.

 What was your biggest achievement last season?

13925277_10154714383569341_520469742503556465_nLast year was one of our most successful seasons with our Level 1 team placing 1st at Future Cheer University Nationals. Pom had a dramatic improvement and went from 9th place in their first competition of the season to an impressive 2nd place for the final two competitions. Level 3 were crowned National University Champions at Legacy Dream Extreme and finally a Leeds Celtics clean sweep with all our cheer teams placing 1st at Circus Spectacular, including Grand Champions for our level 3 team.

How do you decide what competition you are going to attend?

Each year our Captain and Secretary take time researching the competitions. Dates, venue and competition has a big influence on the decision.

Your team is part of the AV family, how did that come about?


The amazing Aviator Allstars are Leeds Alumni and the founders of Leeds Celtics Cheerleaders. They have coached the team from the very start, and continue to do so.


What was your favourite cheerleading competition of the past season?

All the competitions last season were incredible, but Future Cheer University Nationals stood out the most! Across the two day competition held at Genting Arena in Birmingham, there was an incredible atmosphere, and as it was our first competition, team spirit was very high!!


What are your goals for the coming season

Match Team aim to add stunting into their routines for the first time, with our newly trained student coach! Pom are going for Gold as they missed out on first place by less than 0.5 points last season, and all of our Cheer teams aim to withhold their high placing and stand-out routines. All of the Celtics keeps fight hard every season to uphold the legacy!


It’s that time of year where you guys will be recruiting, what are you looking for in a student?

14292423_10154794154679341_697229509544859531_nAs Celtics we pride ourselves on our enthusiasm, determination and commitment. Whether you are a seasoned dancer, or completely new to the sport, we have a spot for everyone!!


Why should people join Leeds Celtics Cheerleaders?

Aside from the really fun competitions and amazing training, our society is renowned for having ridiculously fun socials, great nights out and some very memorable trips abroad and by joining Celtics you will undoubtedly make friends for life.


What useful skills has cheerleading taught you?

14440909_10154820002669341_8565095906817989105_nCheerleading has taught me how important team work, communication and dedication is, to pull off a routine. But it has also taught me how important it is to not be too hard on yourself, as sometimes things go wrong or don’t go to plan, and it is important to pick yourself back up and make sure to smash it the next time.


Are there any transferable skills that you have learnt from cheer that you can use later on in life?

Cheerleading is an extreme sport, so trust is a huge skill you have to have (especially if you’re a flyer), along with many communication and organization skills. Cheerleading is a team sport, so working with others is a massive skill that is put into practice every training and every competition.

What would your lives be without cheer?

Cheerleading is not only the main social aspect of our University lives, but we have all made friends for life through the Celtics. The sense of pride you get standing on that stage with all of your best friends, smashing a routine you’ve worked months for is something I can’t even begin to explain.


What kind of socials do you guys do, if any?

1381762_10152355352359364_7175721605811658058_nOur society is an extremely social one, we have a social every other Wednesday, from Glitter Socials, to Otley Sails, to Christmas Meals (and ofc many more).





Do you guys use social media platforms?

Yes! We love our Facebook, Instagram and You tube pages! We are also on Twitter too!


Is there any other information you would like to share with CFHTT?

I would just like to introduce our incredible coaches for the season. The crazy Kristina Smirnova, who will be introducing stunting into our Match routines this year, the sassy Hannah Thornley and Chloe Oates, who will be taking our Pom team to the top! And Finally, our incredible Cheer Team coaches, Rachel Pearson and Tim Peffers, who will help us continue our Legacy.

Lastly, what is your favourite UK Cheer team (apart from your team) and your favourite international cheer team and why?

14317337_10154794154754341_5439506872553477631_nOur favourite UK cheer team has to be Carniege Black and Purple, who are also part of the AV family! Even though in some of our divisions we are against each other, we have a great relationship and always support each other!

No one does it better than those who founded it! The USA National Team absolutely smashed it this year at Worlds, and brought together all the different aspects of cheerleading that makes you love the sport!


Until next time guys

love  CFHTT

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Nottingham Trent Tigers


Hi Nottingham Trent Tigers


Tell us about Nottingham Trent Tigers cheer history.

10543533_10205020337125843_5848514234223737131_oWe have been a team for over 10 years, collecting various trophies across nationwide competitions, including ICC Grand Champs for consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. Building each year in numbers. We gained an amazing new Head Coach in the last few years that has helped to transform the reputation of the club across the UK as ones to watch! Like many university teams that has really built itself from humble beginnings and reaches a new peak every single year.

How many teams do you have and what does each team do?

947375_588125311337562_4273261848933375280_nWe currently have 3 teams. performance team: Develop a series of skills including dance and stunting in order to produce a well-executed routine. They perform at various events throughout the year including our university’s charity run ‘RunNTU’

Varsity team: Develop skills in order to perform several routines throughout the year including the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships and providing half time routines at Nottingham’s University Varsity Series.

Competition team: Train rigorously, further develop and perfect skills including dance, stunting and tumbling in order to compete at 3 competitions towards the end of the season.

What was your biggest achievement last season?

Our biggest achievement last season was winning National Champions at ICC for the third consecutive year, shortly followed by another National Championship win at BCA and with it being our first time competing there made the win even greater! To win at such amazing competitions in less than a week with new squad members and injuries was an amazing achievement for the whole club.

What was your favourite cheerleading competition of the past season

887583_10153182740451125_1407684378900381552_o“I would personally say that our favourite competition of the past season was ICC in Nottingham as a lot of our Tigers from our varsity and performance team were able to come to support us due to it being down the road from our main university campus. This created a fantastic atmosphere for us whilst we were performing and it really made us want to hit and to win even more, and we did! There is no feeling that can compare to everyone hitting their stunts and the almighty roar from the crowd that you could feel throughout your body.”  – Committee Member 16/17

Does your team do other things apart from compete?

11091357_456349941181767_4150695072011292744_nYes we do!  As well as compete our teams perform throughout the year at other events including Notts Varsity Series. We also spend a fair amount of time fundraising for charities and supporting local events including hosting a food bank, bag packing and in previous years we have volunteered at the children’s hospital. And of course we love to socialise! With socials every week and going on tour in April!


What are your goals for this season

We want to expand our team and get as many people at NTU interested in Tigers and what we do. Whether it be actually being a part of the team or just getting more support at our performances throughout the year, we really want to make our team as large and known throughout the university and the UK as possible.

10387071_10153226821636125_4021745002661577711_oIt’s that time of year where you guys will be recruiting what you are looking for from student?

We will be recruiting throughout welcome week and at our University Fresher’s fair. We are looking for commitment, passion and hard working individuals that show they want to be part of something special and want to work towards creating a routine that shows of their best ability whether that’s being part of performance squad, varsity or competition squad. Each squad brings something different and we allow peoples personalities to shine in their own way throughout our routines. That’s how our TIGERS work.

Why should people join Nottingham Trent Tigers?

We truly believe that if you are going to do anything outside of your course at university it should be joining a sports team, as it has made so many of our girls university experiences so much more credible. We form such a bond throughout the year with many girls moving in together the following year! We are all there to support each other, have a laugh and try something new. It’s a great form of exercise, building on strength and a reason to get to know people from across the university.

What useful skills has cheerleading taught you?

11206704_10153235289941125_6555949313271148919_o-1Cheerleading has taught us so much! It has taught us to be disciplined, a team player and to work well with others but it has also taught us that sometimes you just have to work hard on your own personal goals which will therefore benefit the team as a whole. It has taught us about balance and how to keep up with uni work, exams, manual work, training and still managing to find time to eat, sleep and shower! It has taught us that we can 100% achieve anything that we want if we put our minds to it and that hard work and perseverance are the best traits to becoming an all-rounder.



Are there any transferable skills that you have learnt from cheer that you can use later on in life?

Cheer has taught us all a lot of lessons about teamwork and sometimes conflicts when things get a bit too frustrating. It’s helped to give many of us the drive and motivation to do the best that we can and has really helped many come out of their shell and be a lot more confident in their selves, even if it’s just through cheer facials in everyday life!

What would your lives be without cheer?
Cheer is 100% who I am. It has made me the person I am today. I have met so many amazing people throughout my years of cheer and people who I will always be life-long friends with. It has shaped me into a character that knows how to work hard and knows that things don’t always go your way, but sometimes you just have to pick yourself up and tell yourself it will be okay. I am who I am today because of cheer and I genuinely would not want to be anyone or be anywhere else”. – Committee Member 16/17

‘Well, I’d have a lot less arms and legs to the face that’s for sure!! I feel like my University experience just wouldn’t be as fun as it has been so far. Cheer has often been a nice escape when work gets too stressful and I can really enjoy myself doing something I love and without that, I feel like I would have struggled a lot more at University. I’ve made a lot of close friendships through cheer and without it, I wouldn’t have met some of the nicest and funniest people in my life.’ – Committee Member 16/17

How many hour a week do you train

11164642_10153226821556125_7604050121680133373_oPerformance: 2 Hours

Varsity: 4 Hours

Competition: 6 Hours

(We have more training nearer Performances and Competitions)



How do you decide what competition you are going to attend?

The final decision of which competitions we enter is decided by our Head Coach, Stefan. But this is a decision discussed between the training team and the decision also heavily lies with the President of the club. However this year we have taken on a Secretary role within the committee who has a key role in finding out all relevant information for competitions.

 Do you guys use social media platforms?”

We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. You can find us on all of them @ ntucheerleading.

11224884_802917986453016_2301918200148149035_nFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/NTUCheerleading

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NTUcheerleading

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ntucheerleading/





Here is their Promo video for this season!



  1. Lastly what is your favourite UK Cheer team (apart from your team) and your favourite International cheer team and why?COVENTRY DYNAMITE WOO WOO WOOOOOO (LOL)
    Our fave international team would have to be Gymtyme as they focus on building skills from the bottom and working on elements of their routine from the ground up. They are not afraid of hard work and they believe in their athletes 100% and will train them from cartwheels and gut libs right up to double fulls and kick doubles. They are supportive of other teams (which has been experienced first hand) and are fantastic sports men and women.

It’s a difficult one for me as I’m such a big fan of both University Cheerleading and All-Star Cheer, but in terms of UK teams I’d have to say my favourites were Genesis and Cardiff Snakecharmers. As a University Team, I feel that Cardiff have a very strong work ethic and it really shows when they get to competitions and perform at their varsity! They always have smiles on their faces and are so friendly and so I think they’re an amazing team. Genesis have always stood out for me for having THE best dance when it comes to routines and everyone seems to agree!! Yes, I might be slightly biased in the sense that our Head Coach is on Genesis too however we’ve seen them train and  know how hard they work  on improving year upon year and we think the Cheer community can really see that and want to steal their choreographer too! My favourite International Cheer team has to be Brandon Allstars Senior Black who come to Worlds every year with fight and hunger to hit and never get complacent and know that hard work gets results – a mentality we like to share over in the UK too! They have amazing skills and are always so clean and have an amazing bunch of talented athletes.” – Committee Member (Captain) 16/17



Until Next time guys

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