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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.


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.

UKCA NI on stage

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!

Northern Ireland Allstar’s Sponsored Gibraltar Row

Cheerleading has reached new heights since its introduction to Northern Ireland back in 2008. Northern Ireland has hosted its fifth National Championships and the event attracts more young people to the dynamic and all inclusive team sport each year.

The sport is recognised at National and Junior European level under the guidance of UKCA regional development representative, Karen Graham.

Karen Graham

Karen – lead tutor and a judge here at the UKCA – is also head coach and director for the Northern Ireland Allstar cheerleading squad. The squad trains in three disciplines – cheerleading, cheer dance and street cheer – and is made up of cheerleaders from across Northern Ireland who have been selected at annual auditions to represent the country at UK Elite and European championships.

Karen has recently received an invitation from the Gibraltar Cheer Association to host an International Summer Camp. The project is the first of its kind between the two nations and allows Northern Ireland athletes to perform and compete alongside European teams.

Andrew Lavery

The most recent development has been the recognition received from Andrew Lavery from BodyLab N.I. Andrew is recognised for supporting local athletes in various sporting disciplines. As a sports professional and athlete, he understands the demanding skill requirements, dedication and hard work that goes into cheerleading, especially with it reaching this exciting stage in its short time in N.I. He has generously offered his premises for a support base to the Northern Ireland Allstars, who are participating in a sponsored row to Gibraltar.

The 3000k row in July 2014 is to raise funds for the team and head coach to join with the Gibraltar Cheer Association for the International Summer Camp. The Gibraltar local council have awarded funding to make the event a huge success because they recognise that it will be a major development for the sport of cheerleading.

Allstars Sponsored Row

The Allstars are currently working hard to raise contributions for the much needed funds. Friends, family members and clientele of BodyLab N.I gym are all invited to get on board and clock up the miles to help earn pounds for the squad.

To follow their story, visit the Allstars Facebook page.