We posted recently on our Northgate Facebook page the following about Year 10 student Millie:

Year 10 Millie competed at the British Cheerleading Association National Championships in Telford over the Easter weekend. Her team, junior extreme part of the East Coast Emeralds programme, won Gold in the junior level 2 division and became National Champions! Wow!! Millie is now busy training for further competitions this year including a competition at the O2 arena in London in July. Millie’s team feature in an article in the EDP.

Miss Theobald caught up with Millie to find out what it takes to be a cheer leader.

When did you first start cheer leading?

When I was in Year 8.

What made you pick cheer leading as an out of school hobby?

Previously I’d done gymnastics from about Year 3 onwards but I only really liked doing the floor as opposed to the other apparatus. It was the tumbles that I really liked doing and I was better at this than the rest so I thought I’d have a go at cheerleading.

How many hours a week do you have to train?

About 5 – 7 hours a week. I am currently on 3 teams. The Junior category is 7-15 years, and Senior category is 16 onwards. There are two levels of teams, level 1 and level 2. Level 2 teams complete more complex tumbles. I compete in a Junior level 1 and 2 team and a Senior level 1 team. I train at the Hewett School gym with others from across different schools in Norfolk. We have to do lots of conditioning to enhance our fitness eg cardio, circuits etc but also tumbling practice.

What do you have to do as a cheer leader?

In competitions we have to perform a 2 min 30 routine. There are about 10 to 15 people on a team although some teams are bigger. There are different positions for people – flyer (they are the ones thrown into the air, doing tricks), side base (they hold the feet of the flyer), back base (they stand at the back, supporting the flyer) and sometimes you have a front base (at the front of the group). I am a side base. You need to have really good hand eye coordination, timing and a lot of trust! Certain competitions require different elements being incorporated in the routines.

Tell us about some other competitions you’ve entered before.

We’ve won competitions before but this was first National competition we had won. We enter lots of competitions over the year with some of them being further afield. We have a competition coming up at the UEA so we’ll have lots of our supporters there – we are hoping to win this one. Generally we have competitions most months. We work on a routine for the season which we learn in September and then the coach makes tweaks after each competition to improve and enhance.

Wow, there’s so much involved in cheerleading! Well done to Millie for her commitment shown so far. We wish her lots of luck in future competitions.