The cheerleading squad at Maple Ridge secondary has a lot to cheer about after winning two major championships at one event.
Not only did the 25-member team win High School Grand Champions for scholastic cheer at the inaugural provincials in Kamloops on April 13, but also a paid trip to the 2020 world championships in Orlando, Fla.
The Ridge team had to perform one two-and-a-half-minute routine twice. It was a combination of cheers, stunts and dance.
Team members have been preparing for the competition all year, practising a minimum of five hours a week, and during extended school breaks.
Rules are set out by a regulatory body that covers high school cheerleading across North America. Judging is based on difficulty, leadership and props, as well as crowd response, facial expressions and energy.
Lara Cooley, teacher sponsor for MRSS, said the competition was tight, but Ridge edged Argyle and Tweedsmuir.
Ridge performed the number of stunts needed for maximum scores, including jumps, she said.
Making the routine unique, she added, comes down to music and cheer choices, personal flair and the way the routines are put together.
“I would say something our team does that is smart is we put our pyramid into the centre so our girls have a chance at the end to perform their dance and really bring forward a punch of energy,” she said.
In January, the cheer team from Maple Ridge secondary was named the High School Grand Champions for the third year in a row at the Snowflake Cheer Championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The Maple Ridge secondary cheerleading squad has been a part of the school off and on for more than 60 years.
The team does not perform sideline cheers because, Cooley said, that would require additional time.
The squad will be taking a month off, then fundraising starts for the world championships.
Currently, there is no national championship in Canada, but Cooley is hoping that will change.