Jumping for joy
Young cheerleader makes the leap to England’s Unity All Stars
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.
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.