In April 2022, we were FINALLY able to attend the IASF Cheerleading World Championships in Orlando, Florida. After the disappointment of the trip being cancelled with just a few weeks notice in 2020 (due to the growing threat of some ‘new virus’), and virtual worlds last year, this trip was much anticipated, and a long time coming for many.
This year, the club took two teams to represent MCA – Phoenix (International Open Small Coed Level 7) and Valkyries (International Open All Girl Level 6 Non-Tumble).
For many of us, it was our first airport experience since the beginning of the pandemic, let alone international trip, and with the ever changing rules and regulations we were so grateful that Cheer Travel Australia were able to help us every step of the way to ensure a safe journey to America.
We touched down in Los Angeles, where we stayed for a week and trained with Smoed at the California All Stars Camarillo gym. Training sessions were long and intense, but having guest coaches like Dillon Brandt and Eddie Rios work with us on our routines really helped boost our confidence, and we can’t thank the Smoed and other Cali athletes enough for their incredible support during our full outs!
Week two was spent in Orlando, getting some final training sessions in at the UKnight gym and heading to Disney World to train on the infamous football field, and attend Spring Cheer and Dance show-offs. Phoenix and Valkyries both qualified for Day 2, so each team had the opportunity to compete twice at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, across all three of the arenas.
The trip was a huge success for the club. Phoenix placed 4th in the Level 7 Small Coed Division, hitting a zero deduction routine, and took third place in the Nations Cup. Prior to this performance the team had only competed twice at Level 7 – one of these competitions being virtual worlds! It was incredible seeing how far the team has progressed being so new to the level, and they certainly held their own in a division with very experienced athletes and teams.
Valkyries placed 8th out of 69 teams, in one of the largest divisions in the whole competition. Much like Phoenix, the team only had the opportunity to compete together twice before the trip, and this was the first time any of the team had competed at Worlds before, barring virtual worlds in 2021. Whilst not a perfect run, we are so proud of how the team performed and their development as both athletes and as a team over the Worlds journey has been so amazing to watch!
Now that things on the pandemic-front have settled down, we look forward to future international trips – Coach Danelle and Edward even did some scouting for early 2023 whilst they were away…