The days of renting a gym by the hour are over for one Peterborough sports team which has moved into their new home after a huge 18 month fundraising push to raise £20,000.
The new gym for the East Elite Allstars in Saville Road, Westwood, has now opened its doors, marking the realisation of a five-year dream for club founders Vicky Thurston and Lisa Sawyer who have seen it grow from one team to 14.
Vicky said: “When we first started out we were training in a gym that we rented by the hour and had one competitive team. But around two years ago we realised the team was growing too big to carry on this way and the time had come to take that next step.
“Now, having our own facility, we’re able to offer cheerleading to just about anyone. From September when the new season starts we’ll have three recreational teams for children from the age of four up to adults of any age, and 11 competitive teams. We’re so excited and can’t wait to reap the benefits of having our very own space.”
Allstar cheerleading is a combination of gymnastics, tumbling, dance and stunting - where they throw an athlete into the air and catch them, jumps and building human pyramids.
To be able to set up their own facility the team had to raise almost £20,000 in 18 months to buy a special cheerleading sprung floor which gives an extra bounce but also a softer landing. The hard work and dedication of the coaches and fundraising team, and never-ending enthusiasm of the athletes, meant that after many bag packs, sponsored walks, themed training sessions and raffles, the floor was laid earlier this month.
The new East Elite HQ then welcomed visitors including Miss Peterborough Laura Bailey to their new unit to view the facilities on offer.
And to round off the week two teams from the squad were named as Royal Champions at a national competition held at the East of England Arena and Events Centre. The invitation only event Battle of Champions, where only the best of the best competed, was hosted by the International Cheerleading Confederation and saw teams from all over the UK competing.
Lisa said: “Now that we have our own space we’ll be able to train on a full sized sprung floor and not be limited by the amount of time we can hire sports halls for. This will mean we can be even more competitive for the last competition of the year, the Future Cheer nationals in Bournemouth, and for next season.
“We really want to thank everyone that has been involved in helping us to get to this point. We’ve been lucky enough to secure sponsorship from a number of local companies including Forterra and BGL and this has made a real difference.”
For more information on East Elite, visit: http://www.easteliteallstars.com/.