Local cheerleader to attend international competition

·2 min read

Young local cheerleader Karmyn Phillips will soon be joining her Calgary-based team headed to an international competition in the United States.

The 11-year-old athlete will be headed south to compete following the conclusion of Western Canada’s cheer competitions. She explained it will be her first time leaving Canada to compete.

Despite it being the first time she will have left the country to compete, however, it will not be Karmyn’s first time attending an international competition. She explained that she had competed in a similar competition in Vancouver, last year.

For Karmyn, the sport was effectively a love at first sight and is a passion she has poured seven years into training for.

“I was at my cousin’s cheer practice, and when I saw her in the air I told my mom I wanted to do this. It’s something that’s calling my name,” said Karmyn. “She told me to ask the coaches, which I did, and they signed me up for it.”

Karmyn now practises and performs alongside the Chinook Team out of Perfect Storm Calgary, which she joined following the closure of Strathmore’s local cheer studio.

Her mother, Amanda Phillips, described the team as a Junior Level 3 team — a metric which denominates the difficulty and complexity of tricks, stunts and tumbling a cheerleader in the category is expected to be able to perform.

Phillips described that Karmyn’s previous team, at a “level two” were performing hand springs, and ground tumbling, as an example, versus a significant degree of more aerial stunts expected from a “level three” athlete at which she currently practices and competes.

Phillips added that Karmyn is the youngest member of the team and has been practicing with them for, at the time of publication, a little over a month.

“I’m extremely proud of her. She works so hard and she is so dedicated, and for her age, just to be this dedicated is already something absolutely incredible,” said Phillips. “I really do enjoy watching her do it. I feel like she just shines in the gym, per personality comes out and she loves every minute of it.”

In order to be able to afford the trip to compete, Karmyn and her mother have taken to fundraising, seeking help from the community to send them southward.

“Right now, we’re selling chocolate, we do bottle drives as well, and throughout the year the parents’ association with the (cheerleading) club launches one to two fundraisers per month,” explained Phillips.

As the Western Canadian competition scene has yet to conclude, a competition date has not yet been set for Karmyn and her team.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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