Three Sylvan Lakers will be heading to Calgary to fight for an invitation to a cheerleading competition in Disney World.
Sophie Moffet, Tayler Lambert and Lauren Kelly are part of a cheerleading team called Apex with Premier Academy in Red Deer.
The girls alongside the rest of the Premier Academy squad will be competing in Calgary on Feb. 2-3 for a chance to win an invitation to compete at Summit, an invite only international competition held at the ESPN Centre in Orlando, Fla. inside Disney World.
Moffet, 14, attends Ecole Mother Teresa School and was a competitive dancer for 11 years before making the switch to cheerleading.
Moffet was in tumbling before she became a dancer and decided to return to her tumbling roots when she chose to try a new sport and take up cheerleading.
Kelly, who is a Fox Run School student, is 13-years-old and has been cheering for six years.
“I started out in gymnastics, like a little class, and then I saw some videos on cheerleading and I thought, ‘why don’t I try that out,’” said Kelly.
Lambert is the youngest on the team at 11-years-old and goes to C.P. Blakely Elementary School.
Lambert started cheerleading three years ago because one of her close friends was doing cheer and wanted to do a sport with her friend and ended up loving it.
The girls will do seven competitions a year with this team and love hitting the mat at each competition.
“[Cheerleading is] 70 per cent mental and 30 per cent physical,” explained the girls, adding their favourite aspect of cheerleading is tumbling.
“You have to be prepared for anything that’s going to happen,” said Moffet, “like you can get hurt, you can cry a lot.”
Lambert says preparing for these competitions is “very rushed” and the coaches tend to make last minute changes to the routine.
“The coaches are very like stressed out about it and they are always trying to make us better,” said Moffet. “It’s very stressful on us athletes too.”
This will be the first time the three Sylvan Lakers will be competing at this competition in Calgary.
Premier Academy competed in Edmonton last weekend, Jan. 19-20, where they won an invitation to a competition in Hawaii.
“We have that one on hold right now, but if we don’t get the Summit bid we may be going to Hawaii, but we don’t know yet,” said Moffet, adding the Summit invitation is the team’s main priority right now.
“That’s why this team is a team,” said Lambert.
The girls explained their coach, Matt Wiggins, wanted to take the best of the best from each team and make sure they can hit every single competition to show people they can actually do it.
“We know that it’s the best of the best of around the world, so it’s going to be hard,” said Moffet of the Summit competition.
Moffet, Lambert and Kelly all compete with two teams, the one looking for the Summit bid and another.
Cheerleading is on the path to potentially be an Olympic sport in 2024.
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