They’re members of the Liverpool Priva-Cheer Club and are practicing their front handsprings.
The club has had a busy year and is preparing for its 5th annual closing ceremony, slated to take place at the Liverpool Fire Hall on Tuesday, April 24. The doors are set to open at 6:45 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 7 p.m.
Eleven-year-old Hupman joined the club when it opened five years ago. She’s in the Youth Level 2 Juniors group and is on the competition team.
“I just thought it might be interesting to try, and ever since then, I’ve really enjoyed it,” she says.
As to what Hupman enjoys about the club, her answer is “everything.” Despite liking everything, she says her favourite component is stunts. There’s also conditioning and tumbling among many other things the athletes do.
One example of a stunt is when two people lift a flyer in the air. There is also a back spotter whose job it is to catch the head and help with dismounts. Hupman is a flyer and front spotter.
Like Hupman, Whynot became part of the Liverpool Priva-Cheers five years ago. She says a friend of hers inspired her to join.
Whynot is in the Youth Level 2 Juniors group, and she’s on the competition and performance teams.
“I love it,” says Whynot. “It helps me exercise, and it just shows that girls have sports, too.”
One of Whynot’s favourite activities is tumbling partly because it helps with her flexibility and teaches her new skills, she says. She adds she’s most proud of learning to do a bridge from standing and front handspring.
Liverpool Priva-Cheer Club
Since its inception, the club has taken off, says Terrena Parnell, team manager. This year, there are 30 athletes enrolled.
The club is non-profit. Parnell says this means doing a lot of fundraising, such as bagging groceries, selling lotto tickets and doing carwashes among other things. The club is hoping to do a fashion show next year, says the team manager.
The Mini Recreation Group ranges in aged five to eight, the Youth Level 1 recreational group includes athletes aged nine to 12 and the Youth Level 2 junior-recreational group ranges in ages 11 to 14. Parnell says the latter group has become more a dance group.
Finally, there’s a three-year-old competition team with 12 athletes.
The competition team practices Monday nights for two hours, Tuesday nights are tumbling practices and are broken down among each group, and the recreational groups practice on Thursday nights. Parnell says tumbling is mandatory.
The season starts about a week after school begins, and athletes begin with some conditioning before leaning their routines, says Parnell. This year, the competition team has gone to four competitions.
The final competition is provincials, which is set for the beginning of May at Exhibition Park in Halifax.
This year, the competition team moved to Level 2, which means doing more difficult stunts and tumbling, says Parnell.
The club started after a group of five people got together.
“This is the first structured cheerleading group in Queens County, and we have kids coming here from three counties,” says Parnell. “It’s great exercise for the kids. It keeps them active. It keeps them out of trouble.”
Older athletes can try out to be junior coaches. Parnell says the process is like a regular interview. Prospective coaches have to have planned routines and answer interview questions.
This year, there are four junior coaches, and they coach the Mini Recreational Group and Youth Level 1 Group.
Parnell says the club does more than cheerleading. Athletes spend time with seniors at Queens Manor, cheer at hockey games, attend workshops and participate in community events. The club has also done public demonstrations in the park.
Tuesday’s closing ceremony will include awards and demonstrations and is open to the public.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Liverpool Priva-Cheers Club may contact Terrena Parnell by email at email@example.com or by phone at 902-354-4292.