They launch themselves up in the air. They taunt their pom-poms and cheer at the top of their lungs, filling the crowds and the teams with school spirit and energy.
They are the EMCS cheerleaders, and this year they are ready to cheer for Edward Milne community school.
April Ingham, a parent volunteer and prime supporter of the relatively-new cheerleading group, is determined to get the word out. She notes that she was inspired by her son, who is one of two boys currently participating in the cheerleading squad.
“We want to show that there is such a thing here and see the status of it grow,” she said. “It’s nice to be part of the community and I really hope people come out to be part of the Sooke spirit.”
“The team has already given a little glimpse in the gym to their teammates, and that’s when the principal took notice and said, ‘hey, this is actually kinda cool.’”
The team, who’s already grown and proven their skills in front of their team mates and school staff in the EMCS gym earlier this month, has been practicing for last six months.
“I have a heart attack when I see these girls up in the sky,” Ingham said, noting that due to the club’s relatively-new inception, proper mats are far and few between.
Regardless of the challenges, the team’s goals are clear: make a name for themselves and for EMCS at the upcoming Sea to Sky International Competition in Vancouver on April 17-18, as well as Okanagan Cheer Championships in Kelowna May 2-3.
And they’ll be ready, says coach Melynda Warwaruk, who, despite being new with the team, brings with her 10 years of experience coaching cheerleading teams in Alberta.
“The school had its very first pep rally not too long ago, it was for all the volleyball teams; they asked all the cheerleaders to come out and do little small performances – we didn’t have a full routine down, so we just did little snippets, and they really loved it,” Warwaruk said.
In order to assist in competition entry fees, travelling costs, and accommodations, the team’s goal is to raise $12,000 this year. This year the team also had to purchase uniforms.