Two cheer teams from Phoenix Cheer Athletics are heading to Moose Jaw in February.
Meaghan Boras, the treasurer on the board of directors, explains that to qualify for Nationals happening in Niagara in April, teams must win a bid and punch their ticket in Moose Jaw. Nationals is invite-only, and there are only 30 teams that compete.
They are taking a youth and junior team with athletes ages 10 to 15.
“We practice twice a week right now and we have five local competitions in Manitoba that we'll be doing, so it will help us prepare for nationals,” Boras says.
She adds that they practice and perform one routine, but coaches may make “slight changes” as the season progresses.
For the athletes, excitement is in the air.
“We have some kids going to cheer who have never cheered before, so this is all new to them. We have other kids who have never been on a plane before, so they're excited,” Boras says. “A little nerve-wracking but very excited to go away and travel, which a lot haven't been able to do in the last two years,”
On the other hand, coaches are feeling a mix of excitement, stress and nerves.
"We are coming up on competition season. We have a competition next weekend, so they're excited though. We have a coach who's never been, and we have a coach who's been coaching for 20 years. They're excited, they're nervous, but it will be a good event. I'm sure it will be great for everyone once we get out there,” Boras says.
As for what competitions look like, Boras explains that it’s an all-day event.
“You perform your two-and-a-half-minute routine against other teams in your division, and hope that you are the best and you win that banner at the end of it,”
Boras commends the athletes and those a part of the program for their dedication.
“All our athletes are amazing. The parents are great. We're a parent-run gym so we really are a team in all aspects. Athletes, parents, coaches, everyone,”
To help offset costs for their upcoming trips, they are hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, January 21 at the Ste. Anne Hotel.
“We are doing a burger, fries, beverage event. It's $25.00 and you get a burger, fries and an alcoholic beverage,” Boras explains. “There's a live band at 10:00 AM. There's a 50/50 and silent auction, so we're raising money. from that to pay for our trip to go to nationals.”
With files from Carly Koop.