Page 4 Thursday, 11 May, 2017
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Cheerleaders off to Hawaii By Cam Lucadou-Wells This high-flying gang of cheerleaders in Narre Warren should have no problems with tall ambitions. Two teams from Royal All Stars Cheerleading Academy are about to hit the stratosphere of competing in an invitational international competition Global Dance and Cheer Games in Hawaii on 19 May. Athletes from New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan and the US will be also at the games, taking in lavish opening and closing ceremonies with fireworks. The Royal All Stars, aged as young as eight, have been trained in the sport’s spectacular jumps, the tumbles and cartwheels, dance routines and stunts by director and head coach Susan Cheo. It requires a mix of core strength, flexibility and an absence of fear of heights, Ms Cheo says. There’s a sensible policy of 'perfection before progression’ with these hair-rising tricks. “It’s a great way to be fit and to have fun,” Ms Cheo says. The Royal All Stars earned their invitation to the meet after two teams took out national titles at a Utopia contest in Melbourne in June. To help with the travel costs, the group fund-raised about $5000 at events such as a fun run and movie night - as well as a grant from Casey Council. “The girls are just ecstatic,” Ms Cheo says of this rare opportunity. “I don’t think anyone was expecting this at all.” Ms Cheo, a former Canadian cheerleader, says the sport has been steadily gaining popularity. Her academy, with 150 athletes, is the largest of several American-cheerleading clubs in Casey, she said.
The Royal All-Stars teams of athletes and coaches at their final dress rehearsal before the Honolulu games. 167667 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS “Girls who have gymnastics, callisthenics and dance are coming over to us,” Ms Cheo said.
“Cheerleading has got a mixture of all three of them.” The sport is pretty much a hobby
for most athletes, but soon could be a launchpad for Olympics competition. Cheerleading was stamped as an
Olympic sport last year and is under consideration for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.