Cheer­ful times at Tawa Col­lege

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Tawa Col­lege’s cheer­lead­ing team is all about trust.

The 24-strong team won the coed di­vi­sion at the na­tional cheer­lead­ing cham­pi­onships in Auck­land last month.

The ded­i­cated squad of three boys and 21 girls take the sport very se­ri­ously, coach Marie Boy­land said.

There were 14 new cheer­lead­ers this year, but the more ex­pe­ri­enced team mem­bers had helped them come a long way, she said.

‘‘A team can’t suc­ceed with­out ded­i­ca­tion at ev­ery prac­tice and th­ese guys give up sev­eral lunchtimes and much of their Sun­day to train. They put huge amounts of ef­fort into en­sur­ing their stunt­ing groups hit each stunt suc­cess­fully.’’

Boy­land said that while the girls per­form a cheer, one of the boys stands on another’s hands, above his shoul­der height.

‘‘ This ath­leti­cism is hard to achieve with­out a co- ed in­flu­ence,’’ she said.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and trust were a large part of this highly ac­ro­batic sport.

‘‘When some­one is sus­pended by one foot over three peo­ple’s heads, they need to have a high de­gree of trust in the peo­ple around them – and their com­mu­ni­ca­tion to get them down in one suc­cinct move­ment.’’

Boy­land, who for­merly rep­re­sented New Zealand in rhyth­mic gym­nas­tics and aer­o­bics, was as­sisted in the team’s prepa­ra­tion by for­mer Tawa Col­lege stu­dent and for­mer cheer­lead­ing team cap­tain Laura Hook.

Cheer squad: Tawa Col­lege’s cheer­lead­ing squad.

In sync: Ge­or­gia Rus­sell, 15, front of the Zone Elite Squad, Porirua.

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