Lo­cal squad headed to U.S. meet

Windsor Star - - FRONT PAGE - TREVOR WIL­HELM Send an email to North­star_Cheer@ya­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

These girls are kick­ing, scream­ing and jump­ing up and down to get what they want.

The Chee­rios, a youth squad with Wind­sor’s North­Star Cheer, is putting in ex­tra hours prac­tis­ing high kicks, jump com­bi­na­tions and back walkovers af­ter earn­ing a spot at the big­gest cheer­lead­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the United States. “For cheer you have to be re­ally tight and it’s fun but you have to do a lot of work,” said Dai­jana Wal­cott, 11, who has been cheer­lead­ing for three years. “Since we’re go­ing to Sum­mit, you have to be re­ally tight, you have to lis­ten to the coaches and you can’t play around a lot.”

The 16 mem­bers of North­Star’s Youth Level 1 team, ages 11 and un­der, will com­pete against squads from all over the world at the Sum­mit Cheer­lead­ing Cham­pi­onships. The com­pe­ti­tion runs May 3 to 6 at Walt Dis­ney World in Florida.

“This team has won a bid to the big­gest end-of-year com­pe­ti­tion that they have in the United States,” said Cheri McCurdy, owner, di­rec­tor and coach of North­Star Cheer.

She said this is the first time a Wind­sor team has earned a spot at the elite in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited,” said McCurdy. “We’ve been try­ing to get there for a num­ber of years. We had some teams in the past that I thought would make it for sure, but they would just miss it, like twotenths of a point. I was ac­tu­ally sur­prised when this team made it, but hap­pily sur­prised.” The team has been do­ing ex­tra prac­tices, tumbling and con­di­tion­ing ses­sions to be ready for the fierce com­pe­ti­tion.

“You have to work hard and you need a lot of ded­i­ca­tion to do cheer­lead­ing and you al­ways have to lis­ten to the coach be­cause then you get to learn new things,” said Na­dia Mur­phy, 11, who has been cheer­lead­ing for five years. The com­pe­ti­tion is still a few weeks away, but the team mem­bers are al­ready feel­ing the pres­sure.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited but I’m also ner­vous be­cause I’ve never been to Sum­mit be­fore,” said Wal­cott. “I know there’s go­ing to be a lot of teams there, but I just know I’m go­ing to have a lot of fun.” Mur­phy said she’s also “a lit­tle bit” ner­vous, but she can han­dle it. “I’m more ex­cited than ner­vous be­cause I’ve never been to Sum­mit and I re­ally wanted to go,” she said.

Along with con­stant prac­tis­ing, the team is try­ing to raise $20,000 to pay for the trip to Florida and new gear for the com­pe­ti­tion. Their next fundrais­ing event will take place April 28 in their stu­dio at 4080 North Ser­vice Rd., where they will put on a show­case of their moves be­fore the big trip. More in­for­ma­tion about the fundraiser will be avail­able on the team’s web­site and Face­book page once they nail down time a time. Team place­ments also start May 23 for any­one wish­ing to join a cheer­lead­ing squad.


North­star Cheer per­form­ers Mikayla Fil­lion, front left, Daniella Papia and Priya Duba, front right, lead the 16-mem­ber team dur­ing prac­tice on Satur­day. The lo­cal cheer team is ex­cited about go­ing to the big­gest cheer­lead­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the United...

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