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Cheerleading team scores well at National comps

November 4th, 2016

Motueka High School's "Intensity" cheerleading team had several podium results at the New Zealand Cheer Union Nationals competition in Auckland last week.

The competition involved over 1000 athletes, the highest number of registrations the NZCU has seen since it started running this event in 2011.

The Motueka High School team competed in the team division, senior solo, junior cheer solo, senior cheer duo and junior dance solo divisions, and took 2nd place, two 3rd places and a 5th place at the event.

This was the first time a team from the South Island had competed at Nationals after having won 3rd place at the Ministry of Cheer competition in Wellington in August. The Motueka team was made up of 19 girls and two boys aged 12 - 17 years.

One of the team's coaches, Leanne Whelan, says the type of cheerleading showcased at the event was far from the sports game sideline stereotype that most people would think of.

"Teams are judged on a two and a half minute routine that is crammed full of acrobatic tumbling, stunting and basket tosses, where 'flyers' are lifted and thrown into the air to pull different tricks," she says.

"The routines also include energetic dance moves, high-octane music mixes and amazing uniforms, making the end result a definite crowd pleaser.

"In the past few years the growth in cheerleading has been amazing. There are many brand new cheerleading clubs opening each year, as well as more schools starting to offer cheerleading.

"In fact, 2016 saw the registration of NZCU's first two South Island teams. Existing clubs have increased their team sizes or have created new teams to account for new athletes that have taken up the sport.

"Many clubs, including the Tasman team, Intensity, have also started recreational teams for younger children who are not ready to compete but learn all the basic fundamentals, which is a sign things are only going to keep getting bigger."

If you are interested in being part of the team or would like to find out more, contact coaches Leanne Whelan (02108238759) or Oakley Salton ( They are taking on new members aged 7-17 years and everyone makes a team.

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