Local cheerleading group Firestorm say they’re looking for enthusiastic girls and boys to join their National Championship-winning teams.
Based in Swinton and Clifton, the teams of flexible dance-loving three to 16+ year olds are coached by Sarah Aldcroft and Lucy Bamford, who both have years of experience with young people aspiring to finesse their cheerleading skills.
The coaches specialise in teaching pom-pom dance but are soon to increase their capacity to include the exciting tumble and stunt options.
Future classes will also include ‘street cheer’, a more urban form of the classic cheerleading routines.
Firestorm was established in 2010 and have grown to cover six age and skill-based teams.
Senior girls and boys over 16 compete in the ‘Thunder’ class, there are two junior teams for those aged 12-16 called ‘Cyclone’ and ‘Blizzard’, ages 9-12 train under the name ‘Hurricane’, and there’s a teenies team for ages six to nine called ‘Twisters’.
Such is the popularity of getting younger children involved in sports fitness early on, Firestorm launched a second teenies group starting this month called ‘Whirlwind’ for those aged 3+.
Most of the camps have separate classes for intermediate and advanced skill levels.
Many from the Firestorm team have nothing but praise for what they see as ‘extended family’.
Jenny Price, 14, said: “I love cheerleading because since I have joined Firestorm I have made so many new friends that will be friends for life and have met loads of amazing people.
“Both of our coaches are helpful, supportive, loving and caring.
“They push you to do your best and make you the best cheerleader you can you be.
“It’s not just a bunch of girls dancing, it’s more like an extended family including mums and even dads.
“No matter what group you’re in, with Firestorm everyone makes you feel welcome and part of the team from the minute you walk through the door.”
Team member Kenya Robinson, 14, said: “I love cheer because it isn’t just a sport, it’s a place where you can have fun, make new friends and just enjoy yourself.
“Our team is friendly and has people with lots of different personalities; no matter what age, height, gender, race, religion or disability, you are welcome to our team and are treated with respect.”
“I myself am looking to become a coach just like Lucy has, she is a great inspiration!
“Even though we don’t stop jumping around we don’t sweat, we sparkle instead !”
Firestorm enter four competitions a year, performing exceptionally well in their last 2015/16 season.
The next cheerleading season will start on 16 September 2016, running up until 17 August 2017.
Sarah Aldcroft, 35, proud teacher of the Firestorm camps, said: “The last competition we did was the ICC Summer Jam in July 2016 at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool.
“We came 1st for Mini Pom, 2nd for Youth Pom, 3rd for Junior Pom, 1st and Grand Champions for Junior Pom, and 1st and Grand Champions for Senior Pom.
If you would like to be a part of the team – or know of someone who would love to start their cheerleading journey with the Firestorm team – contact coach Sarah Aldcroft on 07583324411 or find them on Facebook.