A team from Aylesbury Cheerleading Academy (ACA) travelled to Florida last month to compete in an international tournament and sealed their place as one of the best teams in the world.
Team Apollo (junior level two, ages 10-16) qualified for the International Summit competition after winning their division at a tournament in Bournemouth in July 2018.
The two day Annual Summit competition, held at the ESPN Arena at Disneyland, is the showcase event for the sport, bringing together the best teams from around the world.
Apollo ACA, which consists of 20 team members, went into the competition off the back of a morale lifting win at a competition in Milton Keynes earlier this year, but were under no illusions that The Summit would be a step up in quality.
In Apollo's category there were 64 teams, which would be reduced to just the top 20 after the first day, so making the cut for day two was their first target.
Apollo performed a solid routine for their first outing at this level, receiving zero points deductions, and qualified comfortably for the second day.
On day two, despite of the enormous pressure, Team Apollo delivered what a spokesperson described as “unquestionably their greatest performance to date.”
Remarkably, when the scores came back, ACA Apollo were placed 12th in the world.
Team Dad, Tim Salt, said:
“It was a truly unforgettable experience, the whole journey has given us all so many wonderful memories. The atmosphere, the venues, the friendships, the laughs, the tears, the injuries and comebacks - our kids just could not have done anymore, we are so proud of every single one of them.
“We are very fortunate for the opportunity which the sport has provided to the kids, but also, on behalf of Apollo and their parents, the equally amazing commitment from our Coaches, who without them we would not have been able to compete to this level, we are so grateful for them.”
All-Star Cheerleading is a highly competitive sport. It takes place in a gymnasium – not at the side of a sports field.
Parent Nina Lewis explained: “It is a very demanding sport which requires physical strength, trust in your teammates, endless hours in the gym, dedication and commitment.”