Royals stay active with outdoor training

LOCKDOWN has meant Woking-based Royals Allstars missed out on their biggest competition of the year – but the athletes came up with innovative training methods and managed to keep in regular touch over the last four months.

Allstars’ manager Jon Bates said: “The first weekend in July is normally the biggest weekend in UK cheerleading – Future Cheer’s international competition at Bournemouth in Dorset.

The Royals Allstars maintain their edge with socially distanced, outdoor training sessions

“At the highest level, this is where the final places are won for the World Championships in the US the following season.

“At all levels, it is where athletes test themselves against the best teams in the country.

“It is also a chance to finish the competitive season on a high, with team photos in the sea, stunts and gymnastics on the beach and huge ice creams.

With the Future Cheer’s International Competition 2020 cancelled due to lockdown, this is the first time since their founding that the Allstars were unable to attend

“Of course there was no competition this year, so, for the first time since Royals Allstars were founded in 2012, we did not finish our season in style with a weekend by the beach.

“Added to the cancellations of the competitions at Birmingham in March and Brighton in June, the athletes have had to deal with a lot of disappointment – especially having put so much work into learning, practising and perfecting the skills and routines between September and early March.

“However, lockdown did not deter many of the athletes from staying active. There were regular workouts via [online meeting platform] Zoom, using innovative conditioning equipment such as tins of food, dining chairs or a sofa.

“There were weekly online fun activities, exercises and stretches and, latterly, some socially distanced outdoor training in small groups, held at Byfleet Cricket Club.

“The usual end-of-season awards evening was replaced by Zoom awards, with the athletes dressing up at home to celebrate the part of the season that did take place.

“The delay in gymnastics facilities reopening has been very disappointing for us.

With the season interrupted, the Allstars fill the time with training and conditioning

“Young people have already lost so much and we are certainly in agreement with the governing body, SportCheerUK, who wrote to the government to remind them of the mental-health difficulties young people have faced and how a team sport such as cheerleading can help promote physical and mental wellbeing.

“Thanks to the support of Byfleet Cricket Club and Silvermere Gymnastics Academy in Cobham, we have been able to hold lots of outdoor classes this month. These include try-outs for next season’s competitive teams, for which we welcome all new enquiries from beginners – aged four and above – to experienced athletes.”

For more details about Royals Allstars, visit https:///royalscheer leading.co.uk.

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