Brock’s cheerleading team took home the bronze medal two weeks ago at the ICU World University Cheerleading Cup Championship in Orlando, Florida. For the fifth year in a row, the Badgers represented the Ontario Cheerleading Federation and Canada at the ICU championships, which were held at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
The Badgers last medal came in 2015, when they earned silver.
“They truly came together, they’ve been such a pleasure to coach,” said head coach Tara Savoie. “With over half the team being rookies this season, they constantly improved with every performance and that was nice to be a part of.”
One of the highlights of the championships was when team captain Jamie McLeod had the opportunity to represent Brock and Canada in the opening ceremonies.
“The Brock Cheer program is a solid program that is building a reputation of excellence for themselves in the international cheer community,” Savoie said of the team’s success.
Brock also participated in the Game Day Championship (a new division at the UCA College Nationals and ICU Championship) which sees the athletes perform to their traditional fight song, a situational sideline and a timeout routine just as they might perform at a football or basketball game.
Though many people may not know much about the Brock Cheer program, their practice and training schedules are similar to that of other Brock Sports teams.
“We have two cheer teams at Brock; level 6 (team that competed in Florida) and level 4 (competes locally),” said Savoie. “Both teams have team practices twice a week, our level 6 team trains in the BSP twice a week with their coach, Sara Scott, and then all athletes will compete two-three times throughout the season.”
With the long trip to Orlando and being away from their usual setting, the Badgers were able to adjust their schedule to keep loose and prepared for competition. Scott, is the Brock Sport Performance coach for the cheer team.
“We were fortunate to be able to bring Scott and athletic trainer Heather Hinsperger with us to Florida; these two ladies were instrumental in keeping the team stretched out and healthy to compete,” says Savoie. “Both ladies have great relationships with the team and they were definitely a huge part of our success in Florida.”
“We’re also there to learn and take in as much cheer as we can.”
Savoie said that each year the team goes to Florida, they try to watch the top U.S. college teams, so that the team returns with some new inspiration and ideas to improve for the future.
The Badgers cheerleaders also participate in community and university events as requested. They cheer at all home women’s and men’s basketball games and other sporting events throughout the season. While Brock enjoyed their experience in Florida, Savoie said there are a lot of exciting opportunities moving forward as well.
She listed the first ever FISU World University Cheerleading Championships in October followed by the Pan Am Games in November as some of the great events coming up.
“Once the FISU application has been posted, Brock hopes to apply to represent Canada as the All Girl Premier team at those championships,” said Savoie. “We’re also hoping to compete in the next month or two for a bid to the 2019 ICU World University Cheerleading Cup Championship.”