THREE cheers for the American stars who are helping a Sunderland team to shake their pom poms.
Cheer Athletics Cheetahs, one of the most popular cheerleading teams in the world, tumbled their way to Wearside to teach Northern Storm the tricks of the trade.
Based at Dance Jam in Sunniside, Northern Storm is entering its first full season which will soon see them competing against teams from across Europe.
Jade Hudson, Northern Storm Cheer head coach, also arranged for the Texan “cheerlebrities” to visit other cheerleading teams on their visit to the UK.
“As cheerleading is fairly new in England, it was great to see what we hope to achieve one day,” said Jade.
She added: “The tour was to enable cheerleading to grow and for the coaches and cheerleaders in English teams to learn and develop their skills.
“It was great to see the difference in techniques used in the sport. The dedication that these athletes give to their team is unstoppable.”
The tour visited London, Essex, Weston Supermare, Liverpool and Blackpool before finishing in Sunderland.
Jade said: “The athletes enjoyed Sunderland, they headed to Roker Beach during their break, thankfully we had nice weather for them.”
She added: “For me it was an unforgettable experience. I had the opportunity to plan the full event, which is something I’ve never done before, I learnt so much from the athletes that I will take back to Northern Storm to ensure we have a strong season ahead of us.
“To bring such high-profile cheerleaders to my own team was surreal, something I never thought would happen. I started Northern Storm Cheer in March and I have watched it grow from strength to strength. It is a dream come true for me and I can not wait to keep developing Northern Storm and cheerleading as a whole in England.”
Jade is now planning a visit to a National Cheerleaders Association contest in Dallas, one of the biggest in the world.
She hopes that her cheerleading clinics will help to change the perception of the sport in Britain.
“Gone are the days of pom poms and girls dancing around,” she said. “Cheerleading is a sport for male and female athletes, throwing and lifting people up into the air and catching them after they twist and pull incredible body positions. Not to mention the tumbling, dance and jump sections included in cheerleading routines.”
l For more information on Northern Storm, email firstname.lastname@example.org