Okanagan Firestorm cheerleading teams made a name for themselves at the True North Cheerleading Championships this month in Edmonton.
Fifty-two athletes from the ages of nine to 19, competed on three Okanagan teams at the largest competition of its kind in Western Canada.
With competitive cheerleading recently receiving conditional recognition as an Olympic Sport, interest in this dynamic activity is growing rapidly in Kelowna.
Team Spitfire, a youth team made up of athletes ages 9 to 11 competed up an age division in the Junior Level 2 division (ages 12-14)
Team Blaze, a junior team in BC, entered the Senior Level 2 division against teams ages 15 to 18 years old, while Team Fury competed in the Senior 3.
Amidst tears, cheering parents and rousing applause from competitors, Senior Fury ran their best routines of the season and took first out of four teams in the Senior Level 3 division, 2.5 points above second place.
Following suit, Blaze came out in first place after two days of competition against six other teams in the Senior Level 2 division. It was the first top finish ever for Fury and the first for Blaze since 2015.
Team Spitfire was in the tightest running and highest scoring division of the competition with eight teams in the junior Level 2 division. With a couple of minor issues in their routine on Day 2, the youth team finished fifth.
Here in B.C. however, Spitfire has been undefeated this season, finishing fistin the Youth 2 division at both Cheerfest in Abbotsford and Mardi Parti in Richmond in February.
The eight competitive teams from Firestorm will now be setting their sights on the Sea to Sky International Cheerleading Championships in Vancouver, April 7 to 9. This competition usually attracts more than 4,000 athletes from around Western Canada and the northwestern USA.
The Firestorm will then be returning home to finish their season on at the 5th annual Okanagan Cheerleading Championships at the UBC Okanagan campus on Saturday, April 29.
Registration for summer camps and the 2017-18 season will open in April with opportunities for athletes of all ages and skill levels. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.