Candice Rawson (bottom, middle) with one of her previous cheerleading clubs. Photo supplied.

New cheerleading gym opens in the Comox Valley

All-star cheerleading is back in the Comox Valley.

A new Valley-based cheerleading gym (Forbidden All Star Cheerleading) opened in January.

It is one of just three all-star cheerleading gyms on Vancouver Island. The others — Island Elite and the Pacific Cheer Empire — are both located in Victoria.

The new gym does not currently have its own building but is booking school gymnasiums to use for classes.

Candice Rawson, the owner of the new gym, says all-star cheerleading is a great sport that combines elements from many other disciplines.

“It’s so different,” she said. “You have your classic dance and gymnastics, but this combines that [and adds] a whole other level.”

All-star cheerleading is different from what is seen at halftime during a sporting event. In all-star competitions, a team of athletes performs a choreographed 2.5-minute routine in front of a panel of judges.

“It’s so unique in that it combines a little bit of everything. Tumbling, dancing, stunting, strength, agility. It’s also about performance,” said Rawson.

“In a competition, you feel like a rock star. The lights, the music, the fans, your team. It’s just amazing.”

Rawson has 13 years of experience in all-star cheerleading as a participant, a coach, and as a judge. She got her start on the now-defunct Mark R. Isfeld Secondary cheer team in Courtenay, before competing with the Island Spirit Sports All-Star club, in Comox.

That club, which was run by Mia Heitland, is no longer in operation.

She later lived in Edmonton, where she said she cheered at some of the best gyms in Canada.

Since opening, the new gym has been running four-week intro classes for people of all ages. According to Rawson, about 40 people have participated in the classes so far.

She said the goal is to ultimately form teams to compete in provincial, national and international cheerleading competitions. The competition season begins in September.

“People are starting to recognize that this is an amazing sport,” she said.

For more information, visit bit.ly/2o7iEbg or email forbiddencheer@gmail.com

Just Posted

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Alberni university zeroes in on disability and poverty

BY MIKE YOUDS SPECIAL TO THE NEWS The road to poverty can… Continue reading

Celebrate cycling in Port Alberni during Bike to Work and School Week

Numerous ‘celebration stations’ are planned for May 28 to June 2

Ahousaht welcomes massive Surfrider Canada conference to Meares Island near Tofino

“It was the first time we’ve all come together.”

Alberni RCMP kept busy with 170 calls over May long weekend

Detachment answers calls from fatal vehicle crash to man with a gun, trailer thefts

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Canucks sign top prospect Elias Pettersson to entry-level deal

Slick centre drafted No. 5 overall in 2017 NHL draft

Most Read