Py­jama-rama cheer­lead­ers

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

It prom­ises to be the most dy­namic py­jama party ever.

Palmer­ston North’s Zero Grav­ity Cheer­lead­ing en­joyed such a great suc­cess with last year’s fundrais­ing Eat, Sleep, Cheer sleep­over, that two sep­a­rate age­group nights have been or­gan­ised for the week­end.

‘‘It’s the first one we’re hav­ing in the new gym, ‘‘ said cheer­leader Holly Spiers, who was look­ing for­ward to tak­ing part in the se­nior night on Satur­day.

Ju­niors have their turn on Fri­day night.

The $36,000 spe­cially sprung, full com­pe­ti­tion floor looked as if it should be com­fort­able enough to sleep on.

It cer­tainly makes it bet­ter for the cheer­lead­ers to per­form their rou­tines.

‘‘It means that when we come to com­pe­ti­tions we’re al­ready used to a com­pe­ti­tion stan­dard floor,’’ Zero Grav­ity co-owner and coach Sarah Mitchell said.

‘‘[For the sleep­overs] we’ve got pizza, hot chips, games, com­pe­ti­tions, prizes, stunt­ing, and tum­bling, and cheer­lead­ing videos from Amer­ica to give us a bit of in­spi­ra­tion.’’

A rou­tine can re­quire team mem­bers to hold ‘‘fly­ers’’ at arms length above their heads, along with a num­ber of tum­bles and stunts.

Zero Grav­ity co-owner Court­ney Thomp­son said Eat, Sleep Cheer was also open to non-- cheer­lead­ers who could be fam­ily mem­bers, friends or any­one want­ing an in­tro­duc­tion to cheer­lead­ing.

This year, Zero Grav­ity, who put in an ap­pear­ance at the city Christ­mas pa­rade each year, have four teams that plan to take part in five North Is­land com­pe­ti­tions.

‘‘We’re also want­ing to take a team to an Aus­tralian com­pe­ti­tion,’’ Thomp­son said.

An Aus­tralian cheer­leader turned up to last week’s ses­sion, but this had noth­ing to do with suss­ing out the Kiwi op­po­si­tion.

Kristyn Lane, 17, from Bris­bane had been in Manawatu on hol­i­day, stay­ing with fam­ily in Feild­ing.

A mem­ber of Bris­bane’s Spirit Elite All-Stars Cheer­lead­ers, she googled to find out about cheer­lead­ing in the re­gion, came along to meet her Kiwi com­pa­tri­ots, and was made to feel wel­come.

‘‘All cheer­lead­ers are fam­ily,’’ Thomp­son said. ‘‘It’s a great fam­ily sport.’’

WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

In a pre­view of their py­jama party, Zero Grav­ity cheer­lead­ers get it to­gether in their jim-jams.

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