Cheer­lead­ing tougher than it looks

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

and Lo­cal teams reached im­pres­sive heights at a re­cent re­gional cheer­lead­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Tawa Col­lege won the col­lege level one and two division at the Min­istry of Cheer cen­tral re­gion event in New­town on Au­gust 5, while Big Air teams placed sec­ond in the ju­nior and level two grades.

Tawa Col­lege team cap­tain Laura Hook says train­ing up to five times a week in the last school term paid off. They had their rou­tine down pat and de­spite some small er­rors, fin­ished com­fort­ably ahead of Welling­ton Girls.

‘‘We’ve got our own style and chore­og­ra­phy, more tum­bling and stunts, plenty of lifts. We watched YouTube clips and use ideas from some of the Big Air mem­bers, we worked re­ally hard to get to this point.’’

Their rou­tine was ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Tina Lawn, a for­mer team­mate who died last year.

Big Air coach Emma-Jane Korte­gast wel­comed the in­au­gu­ral com­pe­ti­tion, and said cheer­lead­ers nor­mally have to travel to Auck­land two or three times a year to per­form their two- and- half minute-rou­tines.

‘‘It makes it so much more ac­ces­si­ble,’’ she said.

Her teams at­tract both boys and girls. The sport at­tracts many ex­gym­nasts. Oth­ers are some­times ini­tially at­tracted to the glamour of the tele­vi­sion and film im­age of cheer­lead­ing, she said.

‘‘Then they find it is re­ally ath­letic and it’s a re­ally tough sport.’’

Photo: PETER MCDON­ALD

Air­borne: Tawa’s Big Air cheer­lead­ers get a jump on the com­pe­ti­tion at the in­au­gu­ral Min­istry of Cheer event. Brit­ney Stokes, left front, Christie Wat­son, and Re­becca Mckin­non show off their stuff.

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