Hoping to be elite in the US

Elite Cheer USA team
Elite Cheer USA team

A group of New Plymouth cheerleaders are heading to America to prove they are high fliers.

And the team of 22 will be leaving their pompoms at home when they fly out to the American COA Ultimate Championships tomorrow.

Elite Cheer NZ co-coach Nicola Lind, 33, said people often had a misconception of what cheerleading was.

"We won't be taking our pompoms. Our routines have lots of stunts and pyramids and gymnastic tumbling, jumps and dance," she said.

Lind and fellow coach Amy Williams, 30, will be two of 40 people from New Plymouth who will fly out for the championships.

The cost of getting 22 athletes and 18 parents to the Gaylord Palms Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida, was about $180,000, she said.

The team, made up of cheerleaders aged between 13 and 18, had fundraised about $17,000 for the trip.

The idea to go to the United States came after the team competed in Australia in 2012 and won a place to compete in the championships.

"We are really, really excited," Lind said. "It's just started to sink in at our final rehearsal. We are feeling really prepared for it now."

The team has been competing since 2004 and had got their 2 minute routine down to a fine art, she said.

After their competition they will head to the cheerleading World Championships at Walt Disney World to support the four New Zealand teams that were selected.

"It's going to be great," Lind said.

Taranaki Daily News