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How England’s cheerleading phenomenon made them world champions | Olympic Outposts

How England’s cheerleading phenomenon made them world champions | Olympic Outposts


We often associate cheerleading
with American football and girls in high
school, however, across the pond in
the UK, cheerleading is becoming increasingly
more popular. After Team England took first
place at the Cheerleading World Competition in 2017,
they have truly defined themselves as a
new contender in the cheer community. I’m here in London to see
how cheerleading is growing and what obstacles they
face as they continue to push to perform
their best as the sport still continues to
develop here. My name is Gina
Scarengella, and I’ve been a cheerleader
for over 10 years. You may also recognize me
from my Instagram videos, where I spend more time
on my hands and in the air than on my feet. Now I’ve come to
London to see why girls are making the switch to
cheerleading and joining cheer squads at an increasing rate. One of the top teams in London
is Unity All Stars Team Ruby. I headed where they
train, in a school gym, to check in on one
of their practices and see what makes them one
of the best teams in England. We made the grade.
We do one full out tonight. We’re going to do the full
walking onto the floor. Just make it great
and perform it well. Please welcome onto the
floor Unity All Stars Ruby! So how far are you
all coming from? It takes me about
an hour and a half. And I get the tube and cycle. Some of the girls, I think,
it takes them two hours. Why do people travel
so far to come here? I think that it’s
worth the journey to be able to be on this
team and be coached by the best coaches in
this country as well. So Tori, tell me a little bit
about yourself and what you do. I’m the program director
of Unity All Stars. I actually started
Team England. You get onto this team, you
know great things are expected. I did gymnastics growing up. And when I went to university,
I stopped doing gymnastics and started doing
cheerleading there. And then I just fell
in love with it. It just looked like so
much fun, and it’s just a very loving atmosphere. Since you transitioned
from gymnastics, why do you like
cheerleading more? I feel like it’s
more of a team sport. So gymnastics, it’s
quite individual. But in cheerleading, you’ve got
22 other girls on the floor. It’s a similar sort
of scenario where you’re trusting each other. You’re throwing
each other around, having to catch each
other and stuff. And you just build up a level
of trust with your friends, and they become
your family as well. All right. So this looks like so much fun. So what are you
going to teach me? We’re going to
teach you the jump. So you’re going to take
my spot right here. OK. So the counts are
1, 2, 3, 4, swing 5, toe touch 6, swish
3, 4, and then– This is a lot of counts. We’ll give it a go. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and up. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8. 1, 2, 3. Good job! Thank you. This is great. Now I need at least
a 10 minute nap. It’s really interesting,
because they can’t just put all of these skills
together all at once. They have to actually
become individually good. And then once they
perfected that, then they’re linking it
together with all of these other stunts, and then they bring
it all together. It’s really impressive. The girls– what is their
main focus right now? So we have a competition
this weekend. So we’re going into this
weekend hoping for a better run. Right now, everything
that we’re focusing on is building towards that and
to benefiting towards that and bettering ourselves. I am so excited to see
how they do on Sunday, and I wish you guys
the best of luck. I hope they amaze everyone. I’m sure they’re going to
blow it out of the water, so– Thank you. Today is competition
day, and I am here to meet Ruby Team Captain Jane. So let’s go. -Hello.
-Hi. Come in. How long have you
been on the team? This is my sixth season. So what has it been like to
see the team evolve over time? It’s just been incredible,
because not only has it changed in terms of the people. But actually, the
momentum has continued. So we’ve just seemed to have
gotten stronger and stronger each year. It does put that sort
of added extra pressure onto the next year and
what’s going to happen. But it is just really exciting. How is the competitive season
different from the United States? And so we start a
little bit later. We tend to hold tryouts
around summertime, and then we sort of start
competing in January, February time. And then you have tryouts
right after that again -and it restarts?
-Yeah. It tends to be like the week
after our last competition we have tryouts. Do you usually
have a big turn up? Everybody comes the
first day to try out? It’s quite fun as well, because
you see loads of new people, but then you get to see
all the old people as well and wondering who’s sort of
coming back and who’s not. So I will let you finish
getting ready here. And I wish you the
best of luck today, and I will be in the
stands screaming for you. We’re here to watch thousands
of girls compete for a title at the Just Believe Super
Regional Competition here at the Olympic Park. Let’s go check it out. So what made you want
to become a cheerleader? I saw it on Instagram,
and I thought it would be quite
interesting, seeing I was into gymnastics and stuff. Were a lot of the teams
that you saw on Instagram from the US, or were they teams in the UK? Most of them were from America. And then obviously, I was
searching for ones over here and found that it was actually
quite a lot bigger than I thought. Who’s having fun today? Legacy is the premier
event producer for competitive cheerleading
and dance in the United Kingdom. And so we really
promote the growth of cheerleading and dance in
a competitive environment. Coming to the UK was so
magical, because this was new territory. Actually, my first
trip to the UK to see cheerleading in person
was pretty eye opening, because I was so
accustomed to what we saw in the United States. And so we would see
these fold out mats that Velcro together like you
used to have in gym class. And then halfway
through the competition, the spectators would get up
and push the mats together. Now we’re seeing
full throttle events on a truly world class scale. And we have 3,000 athletes
coming in the door. It’s been phenomenal to watch. We get one shot. Put everything into it. I don’t want you
holding anything back. You do it once,
you make it great. Please welcome Unity
All Stars Ruby! Let’s go! The Unity All Stars Ruby! With only one chance to
perform their routine, it looks like they
might take first place. But we’ll have to see
what the judges think. So a great, big round of
applause to all of our athletes today here at Just Believe. Ladies and gentlemen,
your division champion for Legacy’s 2018 Just Believe, in the international open five
division is Unity All Stars Ruby! Congratulations! You guys won.
How does it feel? It feels incredible. We really needed this
today after everything that rebuilt us to get to here. So it’ll be a really good
moving board from here. We couldn’t have asked for
a better day today, so yeah. Well, congratulations, and
I wish you the best of luck. I’m going to give you a hug! Good job. Cheerleading has been
amazing here in the UK. The quality has really
started to match that of other countries. Though their resources
are more limited than in America, these
English teams are striving for perfection any way
they can setting up makeshift gyms in schools and
traveling from all over just to get to practice. It just goes to show their
level of determination and their love for the sport. And I cannot wait to see
what happens in the future.

11 thoughts on “How England’s cheerleading phenomenon made them world champions | Olympic Outposts”

  1. We need one of those stunt fest things they do America, more tumblers doing double fulls in parks and not just spring floor would do wonders.

  2. This one kid in my school says cheerleading isnt a sport. He says all they do is throw someone in the air. He says that he can do it in less than a week. He also does golf. Golf is a sport but he says golf takes more effort than cheerleading.

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