A Chippenham cheerleading squad is celebrating multiple successes in a leading national championship.
Chippenham Vibes competed against 24 other teams in the Cheer Sport Wales competition at Newport and came away with a trophy for every one of the 25 routines they entered, including seven for first place.
Part of The Emily Alner Academy of Dance, Vibes is based in Wells Close but practises on Wednesdays at the Olympiad to make use of its high ceiling, since part of the routine involves throwing team members into the air.
Coach Emily Akner said: “I am very proud of my squad; all of them work extremely hard and this is reflected in these results.”
She said it annoyed her when cheerleading was not recognised as a sport, as stunts such as co-ordinated front and back flips, cartwheels into lifts, making pyramids out of people and balancing one-legged on a base’s hands while touching the head with the foot can all form part of a short routine.
She said: “When you say cheerleading, people think pom-poms. But we do American-style cheerleading – it is very athletic and it is the most dangerous sport in the world for women. We throw people in the air and you’ve got to catch them.”
Chippenham Vibes have 24 members ranging in age from four to 47. They welcome new recruits and are especially looking for more boys.
Miss Alner, 31, said: “We have four boys in the team. You need strength because there is a lot of lifting involved. It is a massive commitment as it is a team sport so if one person isn’t there we can’t practise.”
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