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Basic Skills Course

Tutor Hannah from Loud & Proud Cheer has sent us some more pictures from one of this week’s brilliant courses. This one was a basic skills course…

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Everybody gave it their all and had a fantastic time. A huge well done to everybody who took part.

Would you like to attend one of our courses and achieve a UKCA qualification? Take a look at our course finder to see which one will be right for you.

Leadership Course in Hartlepool

We have had lots of fun and exciting courses happening recently, Coach Hannah from Loud & Proud Cheer sent us some pics from Monday’s Leadership Course in Hartlepool…

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Everybody had a fantastic day and worked really hard to achieve thier qualification. A big well done to everybody who took part!

Would you like to attend one of our courses? Click here to take a look at our website to find out more and see all of our upcoming courses.

A Big Well Done!

Well, what can we say? This weekend’s Spring National Championships were really something special!

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Our team were blown away by all of the impressive performances…

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And of course, by everybody’s fantastic cheer spirit!

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With a special mention to the Buckley and MCA teams, who showed so much spirit throughout the competition that they took home the Milano Sport and Insure4Sport Spirit Awards!

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As usual, DJ Caino was on top form and everyone thoroughly enjoyed a dance with him!

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We are very proud to announce that we have managed to raise a whopping £2365 for our chosen charity, the amazing Teenage Cancer Trust since March! A massive thankyou from us to everybody who has donated or been involved in raising these funds.

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The whole competition was a huge success and we have received lots of fantastic feedback. Bring on the School Championships! Have you got your tickets yet?

Don’t forget to check out and follow our Instagram feed for full pictures from the comp and full coverage of our upcoming events.

You can also Tweet us @UKCheerleading or get in touch via our Facebook Page

Our Top 10 Favourite Things About a UKCA Comp – Part 2

Last week we shared part 1 of our Top 10 Favourite Things About a UKCA Comp. Did you read it? Today, it’s time for part 2!…

6. Hitting The Dancefloor!

You’ve worked on your routine for months, there have been falls and bruises, and moves practiced a million times. You are ready.

Your heart beats faster and your feel your stomach flip, you wait patiently with your team as the music winds down from the previous performance. You feel the glare of the lights and hear the crowd quieten down. Your music comes on, you put your hands in the air and smile. It’s time to hit the floor!

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7. That Feeling When You’ve Completed Your Routine

The months of hard work were worth it, you went out there and gave it your all! Your team and supporters hug you and cheer as loudly as they can. You did it!

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8. DJ Caino

He dances, he sings along, he makes us laugh. He gets the crowd going and he looks after everyone. He also leads the best dance offs of any Cheerleading comp in the UK. What can we say? We love our DJ Caino!

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9. Your Handiwork!

We just love to see how creative you can all be. At every competition we are blown away by the time and effort put in to your handmade banners and gifts for the other teams. With all that cheer practice – we just don’t know how you find the time!

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10. Your Cheer Spirit!

For us, there is no better or more exciting feeling than when you are all raising the roof at one of our events. The thunder of your chanting when everyone comes together is electric! Will your team be in the running for The Spirit Award this year?

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So there you have it! Our top ten favourite things about a UKCA competition. What are yours? Do you think we missed anything out? Get in touch and let us know! We love to hear from you!

Tweet us @UKCheerleading or get in touch via our Facebook Page

Teenage Cancer Trust Events – Can You Help?

Our associated charity, The Teenage Cancer Trust are organising a series of challenges to raise money and awareness for this incredible cause.

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They are asking for support from Cheerleaders for their events across the UK. Can you help?

Below is a list of the dates and locations for these special events and challenges…

London Marathon London 13th April
Sefton Park, Liverpool 10k Liverpool 4th May
Great Manchester Run Manchester 18th May
Jurassic Coast Trek Dorset/Devon 24th May
RideLondon100 London/Surrey 10th August
Great North Run Newcastle 7th September
Tri for Life Milton Keynes 7th September
Royal Parks Half Marathon London 12th October
Great Birmingham Run Birmingham 19th October
Great South Run Portsmouth 28th October

They have asked us to make Cheerleaders and their squads aware, perhaps you could show up and show your support. Cheer spirit all the way!

To find out more about how you can get involved with these amazing events, and just why your support is important and invaluable, take a look at their website here

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Because being a Cheerleader isn’t all about training and performing, it’s also about supporting others through sport and spirit. Please get involved if you can.

If you do get involved, please send us your pictures and updates. We’d love to see them! We will endeavor to share them on our website and social media feeds, so show us your UKCA spirit and get involved with this amazing charity!

PLEASE CONTACT vanessa.simmons@teenagecancertrust.org TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST.

Why Should I Get Insured?

Sir Clive Woodward, World Cup winning Head Coach of England Rugby Union and insure4sport Ambassador, puts it best:

Being properly prepared is the key to success. Choosing the right insurance should be a key part of your preparation.

Cheerleaders

Insurance for cheerleader coaches and instructors is essential to the education process of cheerleading. It can cover you if you were to suffer an injury during a session that results in you being unable to work and require physiotherapy treatment.

As well as covering your personal well-being, insurance can cover session participants also. It covers you if someone injures themselves and brings a claim for compensation against you taking away the hassle of legal procedures.

It also can cover you if any of the exercises, moves or actions taught are brought into question should anyone in your training session suffer an injury.

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There is also the option to cover the equipment in the training room. As expected it covers any of your equipment if it was to be damaged or stolen. As well as this, the venue hosting your sessions may have equipment that you don’t necessarily use and may suffer from damages – sport insurance can protect you.

The UKCA have partnered with insure4sport to create a bespoke insurance policy for cheerleading coaches and instructors. The cheerleading policy covers all cheerleading disciplines, including acrobatics and there is additional options for sports accident and sports equipment cover also.

If you’re thinking of getting insurance but still have any questions, consult insure4sport’s FAQ page for answers.

Also, during the application process make sure you quote the UKCA.

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So with insurance being a key part of preparation: if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.

Venom Stunt and Cheer at Milano’s Fashion & Gymnastics

Bank holiday weekend saw the Trafford Centre’s Great Hall taken over by acrobatic and gymnastic displays as our featured suppliers, Milano Pro Sport celebrated their 21st Birthday with a fashion and gymnastics showcase.

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The show promised to be something the audience had never seen before with the company displaying new Milano Collections alongside gymnastic and dancing performances, including Britain’s Got Talent winners, Spelbound.

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They weren’t the only troupe to take to the stage as our very own team, Venom Stunt and Cheer also had the chance to perform to the crowd. They were also in attendance to spread the word about cheerleading and had lovely new Milano uniforms to perform in.

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Venom Stunt and Cheer meet BGT’s Spelbound

They had this to say about the day:

We loved performing on the stage! We had a great day at the Trafford Centre everyone loved our new Milano uniforms – had such a fab day!

Thank you very much for representing the UKCA and cheerleading.

We are proud of you. We say we are proud of you.

Leg Stretches

Last week we told you how to get started with exercising and some simple arm, neck and torso stretches. This week we take a look at leg stretches.

Leg stretches are particularly important for making you able to do the splits without discomfort and pain. However, some of these leg stretches can be used to improve flexibility for everyone.

Remember,

It is advisable that you check with your parents/coaches first before trying poses yourself.

Take it easy with the stretches to begin with. Don’t try new stretches on your own without help, and don’t overdo them. Do what your body can handle; stretches should never hurt.

Start with a 2 to 3 minute warm up with your preferred cardio exercise, remember that you only warm up once you start sweating!

Stretches

Stretches

STEP ONE – Sit on the ground with your legs together and straight out in front of you. Reach over your legs towards your toes, keeping your back straight. Try to bring your chest closer to your legs. If this is difficult, try it with your right leg bent a little, and then switch to the left leg.

STEP TWO – Still sitting on the floor, place your legs at a right angle – one facing straight ahead and the other to the side. Stretch forwards to one leg with your back straight and hold for 30 seconds. Do the same to the opposite leg, holding for 30 seconds again. If it starts to hurt then hold the stretch for a smaller amount of time and build yourself up to the 30 seconds.

STEP THREE – Place your legs at a 90 degree position, lean and stretch your body forward between your legs with a straight back. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. If it starts to hurt then hold the stretch for a smaller amount of time and build yourself up to the 30 seconds.

Exercises

Exercises

LUNGES – Lunge forward with your front leg at a right angle and your back knee and foot along the ground, holding for 30-60 seconds (depending on how comfortable you feel doing it). Straighten your front leg and stretch it for 30-60 seconds (again depending on comfort). Return to the first lunge position, this time pull your back leg towards your bottom with your hand, hold for 30-60 seconds. Return to lunge position and flex your front foot for 30-60 seconds. Return to standing position and repeat with the other leg being the front leg.

This next exercise should only be completed if you can do the previous exercise and stretches comfortably. When trying for the first few times, ask someone to supervise you as you’re doing it to ensure you don’t injure yourself.

Wall Split

Wall Split – Lie with your back on the floor. Your bottom should be fairly close to the wall and your legs up and against the wall. Spread your legs slowly to the side until you can feel the stretch – Don’t try and go further than the stretch! Gravity and the weight of your legs will help to push them down. Hold for one minute or until you feel uncomfortable, you can always build up to the full minute.

To finish, jog, dance or do an another exercise for 2 minutes.

CLIC Sargent Fundraising Marathon

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They offer support from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer, its treatment, life after treatment and sadly, in some cases, bereavement.

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The charity has people running in the Yorkshire Marathon, who are raising money for CLIC Sargent services.

And they need you!

CLIC Sargent are looking for volunteers aged 16 and over to go along to the race for a fun day out cheering on the wonderful runners.

It will be held on the 20th October in and around York from 8.30am to 4.30pm (subject to change from the race organisers). There is no experience required except enthusiasm and energy to cheer on the runners, as well as teamwork ability. There will be a full briefing two weeks prior to the event from the organisers and CLIC Sargent and volunteers from the charity will be accompanying the cheer support.

The charity are partners for the event so they need as many people as possible to come out and help support the runners. It is a fantastic cause and will be great experience for our cheer teams.

If you are interested or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Holli Kellett via email: Holli.Kellett@clicsargent.org.uk or telephone: 0113 288 3226.

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To show your support, follow @CLIC_Sargent on Twitter and like the
CLIC Sargent Facebook page.

UKCA Northern Ireland at 2013 World Police & Fire Games

UKCA Northern Ireland made a huge impact at the the 2013 World Police & Fire Games hosted by Belfast City this August.

Following the opening ceremony the home nation Facebook page received 1 short of 2000 hits. The participation and end result of a televised showcase by our local cheerleaders topped by officially leading 500 athletes from team Canada out in the opening ceremony was an amazing opportunity to promote our sport of smiles and that it most certainly did.

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Following weeks of preparation and a wash out rehearsal the opening ceremony day dawned with lots of sunshine much to the delight of all our foreign visitors and athletes.

Nerves were very obvious as the cheerleaders entered the huge holding arena where the thousands of athletes were gathered awaiting the official start. All eyes were on the cheerleaders and true to form and led by national coach, Karen Graham, the team started to chant a spirit raiser to all athletes. The stadium was electric and hair raised on arms as every individual rose to the challenge. What an experience is was and we will never forget it.

UKCA NI and Team Canada

The squad led team Canada into the public arena as proud onlookers, parents and coach watched on the huge outdoor screen as the event was televised. The cheerleaders were fantastic. Texts, tweets and other messages of support came flooding through as the images from the stadium were televised around the world.

This set the scene for the showcase that followed and it blew the crowds away. The experience reduced the team and parents to tears of pride and joy.

Many enquiries are now flooding to the home nation representative for new recruits to start in our dynamic sport. The inclusion of mature ladies on the showcase has certainly prompted over 18’s to enquire about classes.

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A big thank you must be said to the 20 cheerleaders who volunteered from six local clubs and were fabulous ambassadors not only for cheerleading but for Northern Ireland.

UKCA Northern Ireland delivered a quality service and cleverly represented a team showing the wide diversity of ages and levels from teenies to master and level 2-4.

We are proud of YOU!

The next BIG event to come to Belfast will be Dance Fusion with international guests…watch this space!