Cheerleaders set sights on Florida
A group of young cheerleaders from Rolestown had cause for double celebration recently, when they took home second prize in 'JAMfest Europe 2019', winning a bid to compete in an international cheerleading competition in Florida next year.
Team 'ICE' from the 'Twisters Elite' club in Rolestown, were one of three teams from the club to take part in the European championships held in Liverpool on June 22-23.
A very proud Head Coach, Leone Ray, explains: 'We were silently hoping for a bid, but ICE were competing against a team who had just returned from America after winning the entire competition, so we were just hoping that it was going to happen.
'The focus wasn't only on them, we trained the three teams all the same way. However, the ICE girls are older and can just take longer hours and a little bit more of a challenge.
'The sacrifices they've made to make training every week, not going to discos or school graduations, is just phenomenal.
'We had our mini team, which are called 'Twinkles', our youth team, which are called 'Silver', and our junior team, which are called 'ICE'. So it was 'ICE' that won the bid to go to Florida next year.'
The 'Twisters Elite' club started off with just fifteen cheerleaders when the club formed in Rolestown Communtiy Hall seven years ago, but has quickly grown to a total of one hundred and thirty athletes, between 'Twisters HQ' in Rolestown and a second location in Kilbarrack.
Competing twice a year, 'Twisters Elite' has won the 'Future Cheer' competition in Paris, has opened the Euro Disney parade in Paris as well as competed all over Ireland.
It's not all about cheerleading, though, as Leone explains:
'While they do love the competitions, there has to be a fun element, so it's not all about the win, it's the experience and building them as a team.
'It gives them something to focus on - it's exercise, they rely on each other, they have to have each other's backs and just focus on why they're there and to work together.
'It keeps them off their phones, off social media and there's a real sisterhood. Sometimes if you're walking around the floor and you're listening to some of the conversations, they have huge problems in their little lives, and coming into here for a couple of hours can take you away from that.'