The Sirius Starlets Cheerleading Squad visited Level Up Academy, Leeds today in preparation for their first competition of the season. The group made use of the first class facilities such as a 9 panel sprung floor, foam pit and trampoline in order to sharpen up their skills ready to face the judging panel at the ICE Spring Thaw Out at Ponds Forge, Sheffield on Saturday.
After a thorough warm-up and conditioning, the cheerleaders spent an hour repping their stunts and pyramid under expert coaching from Matt Gilbertson, Programme Director of Aviators Cheer who are based at the gym. With a strong focus on good technique, the squad quickly began to progress to more elite level 2 skills. Led by Captain Sally Bateson, the girls really came together as a team at this point to ensure the pyramid hit and had the wow factor for the audience.
During the afternoon, the students undertook a tumble class, working beginner to intermediate skills. By the end of the session, a number of the girls had unlocked new tumbles passes which were then added to the routine. Fighting with a mental block, Lauren McClean and Maddison McGrath overcame this to perform several successful backhandsprings which were then added to the routine. Leah Pearson and Megan Atkinson also stretched themselves to nail down some high round-off back somersaults. Mr Basile even took a break from napping on a crash mat to dive into the foam pit, although he was stuck for a good few minutes afterwards.
The girls conducted themselves in an exemplary manner throughout the day, showing a really strong work ethic and determination to succeed which is key to improving as a cheerleader. Therefore, please congratulate them if you see them around the Academy.
A special thank you goes to Martin Wan at Level Up Academy for allowing the squad to use gym and Matt Gilbertson from Aviators Cheer for his specialist coaching. Also, thank you to Mr Basile for driving the bus.