The Royal Family of cheer competed in their first ever Virtual Canadian National Competition Saturday, May 8th. Even though the young athletes haven’t been in the gym in nearly a month (since the last lockdown began), we made sure they still got a moment to shine, to have an ending to their season, and to show off all their hard work.
With teams from all over Canada submitting videos, CheerStrike got a unique opportunity to compare themselves with fellow cheer athletes from all over the country. The challenge of a virtual competition is that clubs were functioning under different restrictions depending on their province, county, and city. Some could stunt, we could not; some could have their full team on the floor at once; we could not. But, many Ontario gyms have been fully closed for most of the season so we are counting our blessings and feel so privileged to have had the season we did.
We have not been permitted to stunt all season long, so our routines were 2.5 minutes of tumbling, jumps and dance (with athletes kept 2 meters apart). When we were taping for Nationals, London was in the red zone which permitted us to only have 10 athlete in the gym at a time. This meant we broke each team down into cohorts of 10 athletes and taped them running the routine, even without all their teammates.
None of this is conventional for the sport of cheer or for competing, but this IS conventional for what it means to BE ROYAL. To be Royal means to set priorities and then never comprise those values, no matter what changes are thrown at us. Our priority this year was to give our athletes the opportunity to keep doing the sport they love, to keep them connected to their teammates and coaches, and to keep them motivated and improving their skills.
Yes we are proud that all our teams finished in the top three of their divisions, many finishing in first place – but the WIN this season was that we never gave up, we stuck together as a family, and in a year that felt like a big pause in our children’s lives – cheer was a consistent and ever present in their lives.
Every year kids develop their unique identities a little bit more through their friendships, their sports, their activities, and their accomplishments. We are so proud that we gave our athletes a team to be a part of, teammates to work toward goals with and competitions to pull their best selves to the forefront – in a year where they had to give up so much.
We still do not know what’s going to happen for Season 9 – we are hopeful, but have to once again be prepared for obstacles and restrictions to be placed in our way of a normal season of cheer. What CheerStrike can guarantee, based on how we persevered this season, is that we will never give up and we will do everything we can to make sure kids who love cheer get to participate in a sport that will keep them mentally and physically healthy, developing who they are meant to become.
If you are interested in joining the Royal Family for Season 9 register for a team placement by going here https://cheerstrikeroyals.com/programs/all-star-cheer/