TWENTY FIVE Singleton teenagers are aiming for the national stage in one of Australia’s fastest growing sports – cheerleading.
Since forming little more than 12 months ago, the Singleton High School Tigers squad has amassed some impressive results.
And now the group has its eyes on the New South Wales All-Star competitive championships on September 8 and 9 and then the national titles over three days from October 26.
More than 2000 cheerleaders, in 150 teams, are expected to contest the state championships and twice as many will vie for national honours.
Tigers coach Elisha Watkins said competitive cheerleading was a high energy, fast paced, dynamic sport that encompassed stunts, tumbling, tosses and dance.
It required dedication and a strong work ethic.
“You have to be highly committed in this sport, because if you miss training it affects others who have come along, they all can’t do stunts if one’s away,” Ms Watkins said.
“These guys are very committed though, that’s why they’re doing so well, it usually takes teams a year to be good at a level one routine, but they have mastered a routine the next level up in two school terms.
“It’s an expensive sport and though they’ve been self-funded til now, the squad is looking for sponsorship for new uniforms to wear to the state championships.”
The squad, which formed in May last year, has an average of 25 members.
There were three males last year, and one this year.
Members train and rehearse several hours a week.
The squad’s achievements include a highest pointscore win in last year’s New South Wales high schools’ competition and a level two win in regional winterfest championships last month.
Singleton high principal Tony Jarrett said: “It’s a fairly unique sport, but this group has persisted and brought prestige to the school and the Singleton community.”
Ms Watkins said: “When you pay for lessons, extra rehearsals, shoes, uniforms, competition entries, transportation and competition accommodation, its not cheap, it would cost each member about $1000 a year.
“That’s why we’d love some sponsorship, for uniforms, they’ll cost about $110 each and they’ll make the squad look like cheerleaders and not a touch football team.”