Maple Ridge Secondary won their second straight provincial cheerleading title at the PNE Forum in Vancouver on March 8.
The Rams beat out four teams in the Advanced Senior NT division to earn their way to another trip to the World High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando this year.
The squad finished ninth out of 13 teams at this year’s international tournament, and now that they have a taste for the competition, the Rams will look to perform even better.
Lily Currie, 14, said the team spent five thrilling, jam-packed days at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, Disney World and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, where they competed against the world’s best Cheerleading Teams.
“After arriving at the resort, we spent the first day exploring and relaxing after lots of travelling,” Currie said.
“The next two days we had practices on the football field before spending the rest of the day with Mickey in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”
On February 8th, the squad had their first day of competition.
“We did an exhibition run of their performance so they could be critiqued and learn certain rules,” Currie said.
“The team hit clean – no falls or point deductions – and we had lots of hope and boosted confidence for the next day.”
On the final day, the Rams competed against 13 teams for the World Championship title.
While they put forth a strong effort, and performed a zero-deduction run, they came up short to competition who performed routines with a higher difficulty ratings.
It was still an incredible experience, Currie said and they celebrated their last night at an athlete party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
“During the time we had together, the team became closer than ever ,and truly came together and worked as one,” Currie said.
“Having this experience changed out lives for the better.”
Although the team are the ones under the bright lights, Currie is quick to point out how crucial the support they receive is to their success.
Coaches Sofie Van De Keere, Hayley Pegram, and Mackenzie Dillen put the team through practices five hours a week every month of the year.
They choreograph the routines, and ensure the team is in tip-top shape for when it comes time to flip, tumble and boogie in front of the judges
Parents have also gone above-and-beyond in their commitment to the Rams.
“Even though this team received a paid invitation [to the championships in Orlando], it didn’t cover flights, food or coach accommodations,” Currie said.
“For months the team had many successful fundraisers, raising as much money as possible. Some of the more outstanding fundraisers include the pub night we hosted at a local restaurant where we raised a little over $4,000, as well as the many car washes and bottle drives.
“Our parents were some of the team’s biggest supporters and helped guide the entire way through this journey. Everyone worked tremendously hard at all these fundraisers to make their dream of going to World’s possible.”