Local school team, Hellcats Cheerleaders, based in Weybridge, has been granted over £9000 from the Big Lottery Fund to buy new equipment and provide cheerleading to the wider community.
What does this mean?
Originally started as a non-competitive after-school club at Heathside High School, Hellcats Cheerleaders this year expanded to four competitive teams ranging from ages 6 to 18+.
Last Spring, Hellcats Head Coach, Rachel Henn, applied to the Big Lottery Fund to get enough money to replace the team’s existing floor mats that were out-dated and worn.
Over the summer holidays, Hellcats received confirmation they had been granted £9205 from the National Lottery to help them improve their facilities, train up older members of the squad as junior coaches and open their doors to more cheerleaders outside the school.
In September, Hellcats continued to offer cheerleading to anyone at Heathside School who wished to give the sport a try on one of their two school teams, Tigers and Leopards. Additionally, they also launched Cubs, a beginner’s level team for ages 6-11, and an elite team, Jaguars, for more advanced cheerleaders aged 12+ following a successful try-out.
What was it spent on?
The grant was used to purchase nine brand new, state of the art mats, giving the team access to a competition sized training floor for the first time. They also purchased a new 9-metre long inflatable tumble track which has enabled cheerleaders to develop their tumbling and gymnastics skills with confidence in a safe environment.
Three of the team’s veteran members, who also all compete on the elite Jaguars team, took part in a Junior Coaches training course. They now assist with coaching the lower level teams on a weekly basis. The coaches at Hellcats believe it is important to train the next generation of coaches properly, to ensure the safety and reputation of the sport. It is also beneficial for the Junior Coaches to see another side of the sport they have become so passionate about throughout their time with Hellcats.
The grant also helped to pay for insurance and uniforms for new members.
The Hellcats coaches have already seen an improvement in the quality of training sessions and are hopeful for a successful competition season thanks to the improved coaching and facilities.
The team hopes to expand further over the coming years and still has some spaces on their Cubs team. If you are interested in finding out more about Hellcats or want to sign your child up for a trial with Cubs, you can visit the Hellcats website at www.hellcatscheerleaders.co.uk or email Rachel at Rachel@razzledazzle.co