Soham cheerleaders win gold and silver for Team England at 2017 World Cheerleading Championships
PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 22 May 2017
Three team coaches from a Soham cheerleading group bought home gold and silver medals for Team England at the 2017 World Cheerleading Championships.
Affinity Cheer and Dance coaches Nikki Gray Murphy, Paige Collins and Cherry Grimes competed for Team England Paracheer and Paracheer Pom in Florida.
“It’s an amazing achievement considering most of these athletes also competing for Team England have various disabilities,” said Melanie Denley of Affinity Soham.
“This event is the first time this has ever happened in history, and they deserve recognition for all their hard work and dedication.”
Caroline Boury, whose older brother Rick Rodgers overcame his disability to be crowned a cheerleading world champion in Florida, said: “It’s taken seven years of hard work. Starting with him swearing he can still do it even though he was in a wheelchair… one brave flyer agreeing to be lifted and thrown by someone who can’t run to catch her if she wobbles.
“Rick was the most adventurous and active person in the world when we were growing up. He was dressed as superman for the first six or seven years of his life and we spent a lot of time hanging upside down on a climbing frame.”
However after a fall from height at work, Rick was left requiring a wheelchair. “Lesser people would have given up. I have no idea what I would have done or how I would have coped. However, Rick has just become a champion.
“He got himself together and went to Florida as the world’s first wheelchair partner stunt. Just to show them.
“From that tiny seed of success he grew a whole team. Last year he showcased that para cheerleaders (cheerleaders with a visible or non visible disability) could do this sport just as well as non disabled cheerleaders.
“This year Team England Paracheer finally got to compete. This isn’t a small competition. It’s held in Disney World - the Olympics of the Cheerleading community.
“Not only did my brother decide he was not going to give up what he loved because of his accident, he created that same opportunity for disabled people from all over the globe. He’s a lesson in never giving up.”