Nine-year-old Electrix member Joelle Noar is held up by her stunt team. Photo: Judene Edgar.

Cheerleaders find new home

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It’s been a little over two years, but for 17-year-old cheerleader and head coach Annabel Noar, that’s all it took to go from the lowest point of her life to the highest.

Discovery of a tumour in her leg in April 2015 saw the former dancer and gymnast taking up cheerleading to help with her post-surgery recovery and rehabilitation.

“It used to be something that me and my little sister [Joelle] did,” Annabel says.

But thanks to her mother Maxine Noar, they now run Electrix Cheerleading which has more than 100 cheerleaders, male and female.

Maxine, Annabel and her friend Paige Byers, have qualified as cheerleading coaches.

Paige initially took up cheerleading to support her friend, but has fallen in love with the sport.

“I’ve become really attached – there’s all of these kids and I’d do anything for them.”

“I like that it’s family oriented – anyone can join.”

Now the club has taken the next step in its growth, moving into their new home at Flip Out in Tahunanui.

“For the past two years we’ve had to use facilities at different locations and the junior and senior teams didn’t get to practice together, so we needed our own home,” says Maxine.

“It’s great to have purpose-built facilities with a sprung floor.”

Waimea Intermediate student Charlotte Danielson-Watts, 13, joined Electrix one year ago, and this weekend she captained the junior team in the two-day Olympia cheer competition in Auckland.

Electrix took two of their nine teams up to the competition – the first time they have entered full teams in the competitions.“

“Both teams got great marks which is amazing for our first team comp, and our soloist, Issy Anderson, came second, which was fantastic,” says Maxine.“I’m so proud of how hard they worked.”

“I’m so proud of how hard they worked.”Maxine says that a lot of people don’t appreciate the physicality of cheerleading.

Maxine says that a lot of people don’t appreciate the physicality of cheerleading. Competitive cheerleading is light on pom poms and sequins, but heavy on synchronicity.

Every routine must include four elements – stunting, jumps, tumbling and dance.

Despite the skill and technique required, Maxine says it brings kids to sport that may not go to sport or who might be intimidated by other sports.

And the club’s new home is only the start. Year 13 students Annabel and Paige want to take on Electrix full-time next year when they finish school with plans to grow the sport

“All the competitions are in the North Island so I would love to grow cheerleading in the South Island,” says Annabel.

Anyone interested in either sponsoring or joining a team can contact Maxine on 021 178 8082 or email electrix cheerteam@gmail.com.