Local cheerleaders set to take on the world
Moose Jaw’s Christa Jamieson and Hope Brenner will take to the mat for the first time at World Cheerleading Championships shortly after 9 a.m. on Apr. 28 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. By 11:30 a.m., they’ll know how they and their Lady Luminous teammates from Regina fared in the first step of competition – finish against the top 10 against the best from all of Canada in that two hour block, or it’s all over. That’s the level of the stakes when you’re competing for a World title at that level of competition. And you can bet neither of the two Vanier Collegiate grads would trade the experience for anything. “It’s really the opportunity of a lifetime that most of us have been dreaming about since we were younger,” Jamieson said prior to a recent training session in Regina. “There are teams we’re going to be going against that actually won the World championship last year, so it’s going to be kind of intimidating but it’ll be fun to be see that kind of competition at the same time.” The qualifying process for a Canadian team to get to Worlds is anything but easy, as the path Lady Luminous took to earn their spot shows. World qualifying events feature three bids to attend available to teams looking to reach worlds – two at large bids and one partial-paid bid. Earning an at-large bid qualifies a team for Worlds; entering another event and earning another bid up- grades the original to a partial-paid, worth over $5,000. Competing in the All Girl International Open Level 5 division – one of the highest classes of senior cheerleading -- Lady Luminous claimed a at-large bid at the True North Cheerleading and Dance Championships in Edmonton during the Mar. 10 weekend and then, at the Best of the West Cheerleading and Dance Championships in Regina the following weekend, took first place outright to earn a partial-paid spot. “It was really nice to be able to come out on top there, because there’s a lot of competition,” Jamieson said. “After we got our at large bid we knew we were already go- ing to worlds, so it was nice to win a little bit of money for this.” The local duo and their teammates will face the aforementioned crucible known as the International Open All Girl Level 5 Canadian Qualifier on Apr. 28. There, they’ll do battle with the best of the best in Canada – including the reigning world champion Flyers All Starz from Montreal -- and look to finish in the top 10 and advance to the overall International semifinals the next day. “The goal for us is to get through to Day 2 this year... we’ve been doing really well this season, but that’s against local teams and all that,” Jamieson said. “Since this is the best of the best we have no idea how it’s going to go. We’re training really, really hard to upgrade our skills to go further with it, but we’re really hoping to make Day 2, for sure.” Based on what they’ve seen this season, there is a decent chance that could happen. “The team last year were 11th, so they just missed it, and the team this year is thriving compared to last year’s,” Jamieson said. “So we’re quite excited to see how it’s going to come out... it’s going to be kind of intimidating but it’ll be fun to be see that kind of competition at the same time.” The competition semfinals are set for the afternoon of Apr. 29 and overall final for Apr. 30.