Wow! What a season we have had in N. Ireland following the N. Ireland Schools, Community & Club Championships back in March, N. Ireland has been struck with cheerleading fever and can’t seem to get enough of this addictive and FUN sport.
May Day Bank Holiday saw our cheerleaders take to the streets of Belfast to cheer on the many Marathon runners at 4 stations throughout the city in aid of cancer research. Thank you cheerleaders for supporting the work of the Marie Curie Foundation and Ruth Hope, charity representative, for inviting our cheerleaders to participate.
Cheerleading has certainly taken over my life as UKCA Ireland Rep ( and I must confess I have become positively hooked and got myself involved in the performance side and have been spotted wearing a bow! Don’t quite know how it has happened but it has) with five major engagements as follows :
- Belfast City Council
- Newry & Mourne Council
- Craigavon Intercultural Project in Partnership with the University of Ulster
- Antrim Borough Council/ Antrim Forum
- Irish American Football Association
Belfast City Council are hosting a 2012 sporting Initiative on Friday 23rd July for young people in the greater Belfast area to get active and get involved in sport be it a new or existing main stream sport. Cheerleading has made its mark and I am delighted to have received an invitation to represent UKCA with a 6 hour programme to include taster workshops , come and try sessions with interaction with experienced cheerleaders. The UKCA stand will be featured with current literature being made available to all young people and educators in attendance.
Newry & Mourne Council have confirmed summer workshops with the aim of establishing its first club/classes for September 2010.
The 27th & 29th July and also the 3rd August Newry Sports Centre will host its cheerleading workshops and a big thank you must go to 9 members of the N. Ireland Exhibition Team for travelling to Quays shopping Centre on Friday 2nd July to exhibit and interact with the shoppers during the American Independence weekend celebrations. Once again the UKCA stand was in attendance and the team certainly attracted much interest from many young boys and girls. I look forward to welcoming all budding new cheerleaders to the Newry summer Workshops.
Antrim Borough Council / Antrim Forum
Following the N. Ireland Championships hosted a the Antrim Forum a very enthusiastic centre manager and staff have set a date for a taster sessions and a registration day with the aim of commencing a brand new cheerleading club in the forum. I knew the Manager just had to have another opportunity to grasp our pom poms. Watch out in the local press for full information to register.
Craigavon Intercultural Project in Partnership with the University of Ulster
The biggest highlight of the summer months so far has been UKCA’s involvement in “Sport comes2town” www.sportcomes2town.com. The three day event was a festival of sport, the first of it’s kind and an inaugural pilot project initiated by the University of Ulster under the direction of Nigel Dobson, Co-Director of the Ulster Sports Academy. The aim of which was to bring the sporting message to the borough and raise awareness of the benefits and enjoyment of sport.
Five times gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Mary Peters were in attendance as star attractions with the university film crew logging all the action on camera along with local radio station Cool FM and BBC Radio Ulster.
20 sports exhibited with Cheerleading having a major input as a new and fast developing sport thanks to the vision of Nigel Dobson who has witnessed the attraction and dynamics and of course the uniqueness of our sport first hand. Nigel attended the N.Ireland Championships and visited the inaugural 2009 UKCA summer camp and was even then amazed at the diversity, fun, attraction and technicalities of the sport
Thank you to the 75 Cheerleaders from Riada Rockets & Moyle Kestrels who exhibited through out the day to the crowds and also led the samba procession. Through the town centre- girls you certainly raised the spirits of onlookers and attracted very positive feedback , a great credit to our sport.
Irish American Football Association
To celebrate 4th July – American Independence Day a unique opportunity arose for UKCA to exhibit its amazing sport to American football fans and residents set to enjoy the celebrations planned by Lurgan Council. To this end I accepted an invitation from Greg Loughan, President, to exhibit and promote cheerleading and the first ever N. Ireland Exhibition was formed in June. Many hours of hard work have gone in to preparing and training the team to perform to an expectant crowd. We await with anticipation for what we hope will be a roaring welcome.
Feedback and photos to follow all events and activities.
Watch out for more exciting developments and already a new category is planned for the 2011 Championships.
N.I. UKCA Rep