Jump­ing for joy

Young cheer­leader makes the leap to Eng­land’s Unity All Stars

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Mauger news@baynews.co.nz

CHEER­LEADER Anna Grig­son has landed on her feet again.

This time she has been ac­cepted into the pres­ti­gious Unity All Stars team in the United King­dom.

The ex­cit­ing news comes af­ter per­fect­ing move af­ter move and send­ing videos be­fore an early morn­ing Skype in­ter­view, fol­lowed by weeks of wait­ing.

Anna, 15, from Mount Maun­ganui Col­lege thought she would give try­outs a crack when she com­peted at the worlds event in Florida, and saw try­outs for the Eng­land 2019 sea­son.

“I wasn’t look­ing at do­ing it this sea­son, it just kind of hap­pened,” she says.

Unity All Stars is pegged as one of the United King­dom’s big­gest and most suc­cess­ful All Star cheer­lead­ing pro­grammes. Anna will com­pete in the senior girls team ‘Ruby’.

Anna spent hours per­fect­ing her run­ning tum­ble pass and stand­ing tum­ble pass on videos to show­case her skills.

She also sent in the per­for­mance with the New Zealand Worlds team and a solo per­for­mance.

Anna is orig­i­nally from Winch­ester and her fam­ily moved here 11 years ago.

She’s been the na­tional cham­pion in New Zealand for the last two years for high­est Kiwi level five.

She has also rep­re­sented Aus­tralia at the cheer­lead­ing worlds event in the United States at the age of 13, and this year tri­alled for the New Zealand team.

She got into three teams— and rep­re­sented New Zealand again for the worlds in the United States in April.

For that event, Anna moved to Auck­land to at­tend West­lake Girls High School and lived with an­other cheer fam­ily for train­ing.

Now Anna trav­els to Auck­land every two weeks to train with the Kiwi team as she wants to keep up her skills as a level five cheer­leader.

That in­volves a full day of train­ing, back in Tau­ranga at mid­night and off to school the next day.

Anna wasn’t sure she’d make the Eng­land team. She’s the only ath­lete out­side Eng­land who has been ac­cepted.

She will be stay­ing with an­other cheer fam­ily based in Sur­rey for nearly a year while at­tend­ing school.

Anna will com­pete in all the cheer com­pe­ti­tions across the United King­dom for that time.

“I am so proud of what she has achieved but also in­ter­ested to see what her fu­ture holds,” says mother and Bay Twis­ters owner Beccy Grig­son.

“This is an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther develop her skills and also is go­ing to be lucky enough to also as­sist coach so she will be able to bring back coach­ing and her skills back to New Zealand.”

Anna is the youngest cheer­leader in New Zealand to

‘ I‘am so proud of what she has achieved, but also in­ter­ested to see what her fu­ture holds.’’ Beccy Grig­son Mother and Bay Twis­ters owner

pass her coach’s cre­den­tials with the New Zealand Cheer­lead­ing Union.

She hopes to rep­re­sent New Zealand if cheer­lead­ing is ac­cepted into the Olympics, “which is getting closer to hap­pen­ing,” Beccy says.

Anna trav­els to Eng­land this month.

PHOTO/John Bor­ren

COVER: Young cheer­leader Anna Grig­son will soon be com­pet­ing across Eng­land.

Level five cheer­lead­ing na­tional cham­pion Anna Grig­son will soon be com­pet­ing with the Unity All Stars in Eng­land.

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