If you were to combine tumbling, dance, cheers and stunts you would have cheerleaders.
Cheerleading in Sooke schools over the years has been an on-again, off again sport and now it is seeing a resurgence due to the efforts of a team of Edward Milne Community School students.
Back in October about 28 girls expressed an interest in the sport to former EMCS cheerleaders Brittany and Danielle. They formed a 20-girl team with one male and have been practicing their routines ever since.
They are athletes, there is no doubt about that. The members include soccer and hockey players, skaters and gymnasts.
“The people who you don’t think would come are in it to win it,” says Grade 12 student and cheerleader Kim Penney.
They had eight boys try out for the team but could only select one because if they had more they would have to become a co-ed team and the competition would be much stiffer and harder for the novice team.
“We have a very unique school,” said Penney. “We have three hockey players on the team (she’s one) and some who have never been cheerleaders before. It’s an incredible group — not just one kind of person.”
The EMCS Cheerleaders don’t cheer at school team games but rather they perform in cheerleading competitions. They have so inspired younger teens that cheerleading teams have been formed at Journey Middle School and one of Sooke’s elementary schools.
“The kids absolutely love it,” said Penney.
They have one scheduled for March in Port Moody and they are busy fundraising as they need $100 per girl to attend the competition.
“This is the first and only competition for this year,” said Penney.
The team has been doing what they call a cheer/show for family, friends and other schools. Bake sales and bottle drives have helped them raise $600, $1,400 short of what they need for the March competition.
This bunch of hardworking girls (and one guy) practice two times a week at EMCS and if the chance pops up they hope to hold a car wash or a couple of bottle drives.
“It’s something that’s going to be there for years,” said Penney.