SURREY — Three cheers for Surrey’s Flawless cheerleading team, which is headed to Florida for a world-championship event next week.
The 23 girls of the Champion Cheerleading program (Championcheerleading.ca) will fly to Orlando on April 27 to compete at the prestigeous Cheerleading Worlds competition for a second time.
They train for more than 10 hours a week to do a routine that lasts just two minutes, 30 seconds.
“In Florida, we’ll perform the routine up to three times, and we’re hoping for three times, and we’ll do it at least twice,” team member Vanessa Wilson told the Now-Leader. “We’re pretty good now, in the better half of the Canadian programs, and it’s pretty cool because we’ve only been around (as a team) for two years.”
Coaches of the team are Kate Wickham, Janice Bodnar and Emily Wright.
At 28, Wilson is a veteran on a team that includes cheerleaders as young as 13.
“I’ve personally been to worlds three times, and this will be my fourth year,” said Wilson, who lives near Surrey Memorial Hospital. “I’ve competed at Level 6 before, which is the highest level you can be. I came in as a veteran of the team, which is good to kind of help the lead the way and help some of the team members make the adjustment to the higher level (of competition).”
Earlier this month, the level-five Flawless team competed at the Sea to Sky Championships held in Vancouver.
They train at Championship Cheerleading’s facility in South Surrey.
“It’s still pretty new, this team, especially at this level,” Wilson reported. “It’s our second year of competing at Level 5, and most of the girls started at Level 1 and have worked their way to this high level. It’s been a building process for the past couple of years, and for two years now we’ve been able to compete at this level.”
In Florida, the team’s goal is to “hit” a zero-reduction routine, meaning no mistakes or falls.
“We’re making some upgrades to our routine before Worlds, just to be more competitive, but overall we just want to run clean, which is the goal of every cheerleading team – not to have a deduction routine,” Wilson explained.
“At Worlds, the deductions are way heavier than they are here, so if you’re doing a lift, lifting people, and you fall, the deduction is worth, like, one here, but at Worlds it’s worth five, so they really reward teams that do well and hit. So that’s our goal this year, to go there and put on a really good performance and hit zero (deductions).”