Our Head Coach is getting ready to travel to America to represent England at the International Cheer Union (ICU) World Championships. Coach Rachel Berenson-Perkins has been involved with Cheerleading since 2004 and over the last 13 years has participated in the sport across various roles including: athlete, coach, choreographer, program director and judge.
This is the first time a member of the Superstars program will be representing England at the World Championships but we are no stranger to international competition. Superstars have represented England at the European Cheer Union (ECU) Championships in dance divisions in 2013 (Glasgow) and 2015 (Slovenia). Coach Rachel has also competed in America at the AmeriCheer Championships in 2012 and 2013 winning the event in both Cheer and Stunt (International Level 5 Coed) in the second year.
Team England will be fielding teams in multiple divisions at the Worldwide event. These include: ParaCheer, ParaCheer Freestyle Pom (on which Coach Rachel is an athlete), Coed Cheer, All-Girl Cheer, Freestyle Pom and HipHop. Each team has trained regularly since September 2016 to build competitive routines designed to take the world by storm. England placed 3rd in both Coed and All-Girl Cheer in 2016 at the ICU World Championships and are looking to earn even more top 3 placings this year.
ParaCheer involves integrated teams of disabled and non-disabled athletes, working together to create a routine that incorporates most of the elements of a current cheerleading or pom routine. It has its own rules and scoring system that take into account the adaptations that may be required to enable disabled participants to execute the required skills and specifically recognises and rewards making full use of all athletes on the floor. 2017 marks the first year that ParaCheer is recognised as a competitive division at the ICU World Championships. Teams will be able to enter routines in Cheerleading, Pom or HipHop under ParaCheer alongside the established divisions.
The International Cheer Union (ICU) was established on 26 April 2004 and is the recognized world governing body of Cheerleading. ICU comprises of 105 member National Cheer Federations / 3.5 million athletes on all continents. The ICU hosts the annual World Championships consistently welcoming over 70 nations and continues to grow as a unified voice for all those who are dedicated to the positive advancement of cheerleading throughout the world. Working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the ICU has helped establish Cheerleading to be provisionally listed as an Olympic Sport.
We hope you'll join us in wishing luck to all the Team England teams, athletes and coaches attending this incredible event. As soon as we have a final schedule and link to watch videos of the performances we will post an update. In the meantime here's how you can find out more - just click to be taken to the area you want to read more about: