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VIDEO: Langley area athletes cheer for Canada

VIDEO: Langley area athletes cheer for Canada

Four young athletes from a Langley-area cheerleading studio will have to adapt to a less flexible type of floor when they compete against the best in the world as part of Team Canada in the All-Girls Intermediate Youth Division later this month, April 24-26, at the International Cheerleading Union (ICU) World Cup in Orlando, Florida.

Avery Blades, Taylor Meads and Kianna Millar, all 13, and Mackenzie Walker, 11, who train at Athletics Gems cheer and tumble On the Surrey-Langley border, they are used for spring flooring, which is flexible and provides some bounce.

But in Orlando, they'll be competing on what's known as a “dead mat” with no springs, said Kristen Walker, whose daughter Mackenzie has become a “flyer” tossed high into the air by her teammates.

“They had to change some things they do to be able to compete in this competition,” Walker told the Langley Advance Times.

on the Internet condition About the different type of mats, which provide safety and protection for cheerleaders, she notes that the biggest change is how the athletes land, from flat-footed on the spring floor, to landing on the balls of their feet and rolling out onto a dead mat.

Blades, a Willoughby resident, Meeds and Millar from Surrey, and Walker from Langley, began their journey to the world championships by trying out for Team BC, made up of girls from across the province.

Team BC then sent a video to Cheer Canada, which selected BC athletes to represent Canada.

Walker commented that although all four have already won awards in high-level competitions, the world championships are next level.

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“It's huge for the whole group of four of them. They had never worked together before until this opportunity came up,” Walker said.

“Wearing red and white is a big deal for all of them.”

Being part of the national team means “a lot of extra training and training camps that can span a whole weekend in addition to following their usual programmes,” Walker said.

Walker and the other parents will make the trip to Orlando with the four to cheer on their kids.

In 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted full recognition to the International Cheerleading Federation, meaning it can now become an Olympic sport.

FIFA is the global governing body for cheerleading, representing 105 national federations numbering 3.5 million athletes.

Read also: Thousands of BC athletes are in Abbotsford for cheerleading championships

Read also: Changing the direction of the Langley fundraising committee

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