Truro cheerleaders seeking glory on national stage

TRURO – These are uncharted waters for Truro All-Star Cheer and Tumble.

The Hubtown club is sending two of its four teams – Chill and Heatwave – into battle against the best in the country at the Cheer Evolution National Championships, which runs Friday to Sunday in Niagara Falls, Ont.

More than 360 teams from across Canada and the United States will be vying for titles in their respective divisions – based on age and skill level – as well as the overall grand champion honour.

Chill will be competing in the Junior Level 2 Division while Heatwave is set to battle in Youth Level 1.

“For a small club, it means so much to take part in a big event like this,” Chill coach Sarah Dort said.

“Not only will this be a great opportunity for our athletes to learn and grow, it’ll be an experience to remember and that they’ll be able to cherish with their ‘sisters’ forever.”

Although this is Truro’s first time entering the event, its athletes are no strangers to competing abroad. Many of the members of Chill were part of the Truro Tigers squad which claimed a bronze medal at the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) International All-Star Championship in Kissimmee, FL., in March 2014. Most of the same athletes then placed fifth at the same event in 2016 as members of Truro Untamed.

“Each time they have built off the excitement of the big competitions,” Heatwave coach Joanne McPhee, who also coached both the Tigers and Untamed, said. “I think that will be much the same at nationals.”

Coaches at the club wanted to capitalize on that big-event experience by pairing the younger Heatwave athletes with a big sister on Chill. The exercise is designed to give the younger cheerleaders someone they can watch prepare for the event, ask questions and learn from.

Both Chill and Heatwave have been building to this event all season and both enter in good form.

Chill has won three of the five events it has entered this season, including a Level 2 championship and the grand champion honour at Cheer Blast in Halifax in February. The team has also nabbed an award for best choreography on two occasions.

Heatwave also has three event wins under its belt and a Level 1 crown the last time out at Maritime Meltdown in early March at RECC.

As a result, the coaches have set the bar high for their teams at nationals.

“We obviously want to come home with a national title our belts,” Dort said. “But more than anything we want our girls to completely soak this experience up and leave their hearts on the floor. That is a bigger accomplishment and provides more fulfillment than any piece of hardware could to us as coaches.”

And the coaching staff believes that bar is well within reach.

“This group of girls never fails to amaze us,” McPhee said. “Every time they hit the mat we see them put their heart and soul out there. They have what it takes.”

(Submitted/Truro All-Star Cheer and Tumble)