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Lancaster Roses Cheerleading Squad travelled down to Loughborough University on Sunday, as they entered Future Cheer for the first time in the society’s history.
The competitions entered are seen by many as the pinnacle of what cheerleading societies work towards all year. Traditionally, the club only compete at the British Cheerleading Association (BCA) University Nationals event over the Easter period with all three of their squads; dance, all-girl and co-ed. However, this year the club has extended its sights in order to reach a ‘Sport’ status next year.
Unlike the BCA event, Future Cheer allows two performances of the routine. Following the first attempt, a commentator records improvements that can be made for the later performance giving the teams a chance to correct any errors. The judges mark both performances and the highest one counts as the final score.
All-girl squad were Lancaster’s first show case of the day in the Level 2 discipline. They were against 13 other squads, including the likes of King’s College Lions and Hull Sharkettes.
Their first performance went smoothly without any major issues apart from the fact that not all of the stunts went up. Nonetheless, following feedback from the audio tape they received, their second performance was a lot more confident and polished. They looked more assured, every stunt was near enough hit and the altered ending to the performance looked a lot cleaner and less confusing.
The team finished 10th out of 13 teams, which is undoubtedly a huge achievement in a competition they have never done before and for the Freshers on the squad who had never been to such an event.
Head Coach of All-Girl Squad, Hannah Lace, commented; “All-Girl’s first competition at Loughbourgh University was a triumph! We had a hard competition as most of the squads competing against us were extremely talented, however we rocked the floor and came 10th place in our section which is really good for our team. As Head Coach I believe that everyone on the team gave 100% and I couldn’t have asked for a better result!”
Lace went on to add “we have many improvements to make for our next competition in Easter which will make our routine even stronger and will hopefully increase our chances of gaining a higher place. Our belief is that competitions and performances are all about having fun and about the experience. You don’t have to win to have a good time!”
The Co-Ed squad entered the Level 3 discipline, which was the most competitive level with 15 squads in total entering. Other competing squads included the UWE Comets who beat the Lancaster Squad to first place in the Level 4 BCA University Nationals last year, and the RH Tom Cats.
Their initial performance, although a good run through for the squad, appeared to contain a lot of nerves from the members with one lib falling and a couple of occasions with members getting lost in the routine.
The feedback was largely positive however, and encouraged the squad to make sure that their motions were tighter, to ensure that spacing issues were corrected in the pyramids and urged that flyers needed to pull up through their chests in the stunts to make them more solid.
The second performance of the routine went more smoothly than the first as the nerves disappeared after the relief of doing the first performance and it was certainly an effort that they can be proud of. There were no falls from the stunts and the team looked more relaxed and happier on the mats highlighting how confident they were in their ability.
The judges’ comments included improving flyer flexibility in order to pull the tricks and stunts to a better standard, more creativity in manoeuvring between positions and more levels in the dance sections.
Head Coach of the Co-Ed Squad, Rachael Critchley, stated: “The Future cheer competition for co-ed was a huge success. As it was the first competition of the year and the first time for the Roses at the event, it was hard to know what to expect. Co-Ed did brilliantly, after watching some of the other routines against us the nerves did set in but the squad did an amazing job and as head coach I couldn’t have been more proud of them, or have asked for anything more. Everyone gave their heart and soul into both performances we did and to say we come 11th was a massive achievement, which we can only build upon for the BCA competition.”
Both All-Girl and Co-Ed Squads are now in a prime position to focus their efforts towards the BCA University Nationals Competition which is to be held in Telford on Friday 6th April. The Dance Squad of the society will also be competing at the event.