Four cheer teams – Rush, Clash, Scorpions, and The Cure – from Mission’s Academy of Cheer Excellence (ACE) have won invitations to compete in the Summit World Championships in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Centre.
ACE inspires young athletes to achieve excellence in all aspects of their lives.
“We strive to develop leaders in our youth who will get involved and give back to their communities and continue to contribute positively to the Fraser Valley throughout their lifetimes,” said Donna Kane, owner of ACE.
Athletes on these four teams train hard, some of them train five to seven days per week to perfect their skills and technique.
ACE offers extra tumbling, stunting, perfection and conditioning classes throughout the week for the athletes to attend.
“ACE is a second home to our athletes,” said Kane. “We invite them to bring their homework and healthy snacks after school and participate in extra classes all evening.
Training to achieve this elite level of competition is both physical and mental: “Throughout practices, I like to throw mental challenges at the athletes, because in this sport half of the challenge with ‘hitting’ is being physically strong, but the other half is knowing you’re strong enough,” said Jessica Ann Scoates, head coach of three of the teams competing in Florida, and an athlete competing with The Cure.
“My goal at the start of every season is to make each run better then our last. We can’t control the competition, but we can control what we put out on the floor,” said Scoates.
Kane said the Summit World Championships is the grandest stage for the athletes to showcase their skills.
“The best teams from around the world will be competing for the honour of Summit’s final selection. A single division might have over 100 teams competing for top scores to move into the finals. ACE came in 13th last year and our goal this year is to place in the top 10.
“We want to go out on the stage at Summit and make Mission, B.C. proud of our athletes.”
The competition will be televised on ESPN May 2-5.
The group has created a GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/support-local-cheer-athletes/.
Donate to help supplement the cost of expenses.
For more information about the team and about next season, visit cheerthis.ca.