Some­thing to cheer about

Phoenix Cheer and Tum­bling of­fers recre­ational cheer­lead­ing club

The Amherst News - - SPORTS -

Phoenix Cheer and Tum­bling Club is a new, non-profit cheer­lead­ing club in Amherst.

The group is run­ning a recre­ation pro­gram now un­til June, when the next com­pet­i­tive sea­son starts.

The rec pro­gram is for all ages and ex­pe­ri­ence lev­els and fo­cuses on learn­ing and per­fect­ing dif­fer­ent skills like stunt­ing, tum­bling, jump­ing and danc­ing.

Cheer­lead­ing has so many as­pects, so there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one.

It’s not like other sports where a cer­tain body type or skill set is re­quired. Cheer­lead­ing needs a va­ri­ety of ath­letes with var­i­ous abil­i­ties in or­der to put to­gether a full rou­tine.

For the Phoenix Cheer and Tum­bling Club’s rec pro­gram, it is us­ing a punch card sys­tem, which al­lows mem­bers to come to prac­tices when it’s con­ve­nient for them. The group wants to make cheer­lead­ing ac­ces­si­ble for busy fam­i­lies. Punch cards are avail­able for pur­chase at ev­ery prac­tice. They cost $60 for six prac­tices. Walk-ins who want to try it can do so for $15, and if you want to come back, that money will go to­wards your card.

Prac­tices are be­ing held at Cum­ber­land North Academy on Fri­days from 4 to 6 p.m. and there is an ex­cited group of coaches ready to share their pas­sion for cheer.

Al­li­son Bernardi has been in­volved with cheer for 15 years.

“I coach to help kids re­al­ize their full po­ten­tial and to learn to be proud of the hard work they put into any­thing they take on,” she said.

Brit­tney McMana­man has been in­volved with cheer for 10 years.

“I coach be­cause I want to use my pas­sion for cheer to in­vest in the youth and teens of our com­mu­nity and to set an ex­am­ple for kids to em­power them to be lead­ers both now and in their fu­ture,” McMana­man said.

Kendra Gor­don has been in­volved in cheer for six years.

Gor­don said, “I coach to help give kids a chance to en­joy cheer­lead­ing as much as I did grow­ing up. Coach­ing gives me the op­por­tu­nity to help kids see the strength and courage they can have when putting time and ef­fort into some­thing they love and have a pas­sion for.”

Chant­z­lyn Lo­gan has been in­volved in cheer for 10 years.

“I coach to share my love of cheer­lead­ing and to show what ded­i­ca­tion and team work can do,” Lo­gan said.

Ha­ley Smith, who has been in­volved in cheer for 11 years, said she coaches to teach kids that the best friend­ships can be made in a team en­vi­ron­ment and com­pet­i­tive sports should be fun, while Jes­sica Kin­n­ear, who also has 11 years ex­pe­ri­ence, coaches to show ath­letes they are stronger than they re­al­ize is pos­si­ble when they work to­gether.

Mor­gan Mil­ner has cheered for four years while in school and is ex­cited to get into coach­ing.

“I coach be­cause there is no feel­ing like work­ing with kids to achieve a goal, and see­ing the joy they get when they re­al­ize just what amaz­ing things they are ca­pa­ble of. I want to make them feel un­stop­pable.”

CON­TRIB­UTED

The Phoenix Cheer and Tum­bling Club is of­fer­ing a recre­ation pro­gram un­til next June that is for all ages and ex­pe­ri­ence lev­els and fo­cuses on learn­ing and per­fect­ing dif­fer­ent skills. Coaches in­clude, from left, Al­li­son Bernardi, Ha­ley Smith, Kendra Kin­n­ear, Chant­z­lyn Lo­gan and Brit­tney McMana­man.

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