Infinity Cheer Elite cheerleaders competing in-person, two years ago (Infinity Cheer Elite/Special to The Star)

Infinity Cheer Elite cheerleaders competing in-person, two years ago (Infinity Cheer Elite/Special to The Star)

Aldergrove cheerleaders gear up for in-person competition

Athletes at Infinity Cheer Elite excited to get back to normal

Infinity Cheer Elite athletes are getting ready to take the stage at their first in-person competition in more than a year.

The athletes 2020 cheer season was lost when the pandemic hit and all in-person practices and competitions were cancelled.

One cheerleader, Meenda Goundrey, said it was hard to transition from being at practice three times a week to not being able to practise at all.

“It was hard because you see your teammates and friends at the gym everyday and then all the sudden, we can’t be there at all,” she added.

Goundrey, her coaches, and teammates decided to continue practising via Zoom, meeting one to two times a week.

Alanna Mcmillan, owner and coach, said cheerleading is about the bond between the team and she didn’t want the pandemic to interfere with the bond the girls had built.

“The rules came into effect when the team was just starting to bond and become close – which is what this sport is about – so we had to find a way to keep everyone in touch, without being in person,” said Mcmillan.

After months of Zoom practices, the BC Cheerleading Association announced a three-step plan that gyms needed to follow if athletes were going to be coming back.

“We went through a three-phase plan, we had to go through three weeks of stunting with only five people per group, while maintaining six feet apart the rest of practice.

“Then, we moved to phase two, where it was almost practice as normal, and then phase three is where we can go compete,” Mcmillan explained.

The team is currently in phase three, they are practising in-person – gearing up to compete against hundreds of other athletes.

“I’m excited and happy to be back to normal with my team. I can’t wait to get back to going to real competitions and having that feeling of competing again,” said Goundrey.

Mid-December will be the first in-person competition for BC cheerleaders.

Competitions are set to go on as usual, with dozens of teams travelling to compete.

Masks are still mandatory inside the venue at all times, staff will be checking for proof of vaccination for athletes age 22 and older, as well as coaches working with any athlete age 22 or older.

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READ MORE: Langley parent launches petition to ease COVID-19 restrictions on kids’ sports

READ MORE: Proof of vaccination to be required for B.C. sports, movies, restaurants

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Infinity Cheer Elite cheerleaders competing in-person, two years ago (Infinity Cheer Elite/Special to The Star)

Infinity Cheer Elite cheerleaders competing in-person, two years ago (Infinity Cheer Elite/Special to The Star)