Cheerful times at Tawa College
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.