Sussex Tornados Cheerleaders are a credit to our community

Sussex Tornados Cheerleaders
Sussex Tornados Cheerleaders

I don’t often start by engaging in the very British habit of talking about the weather, however this week I shall.

On Thursday I heard so many times ‘they say it’s going to snow, but I don’t think it will’, or ‘well if it does it won’t settle’, and more often than not ‘oh, I really hope it does snow, even just a little bit’.

Of course there were comments about accidents that it can cause and all the problems we’re seeing globally, which I agree is horrific and my heart goes out to those affected.

Still, as I was walking home that evening just the tiniest bit began to fall and, as soon as I was back in the warm, I continued to watch through the window.

I was like a big kid when I saw it coming down and even beginning to settle.

I’m sure had anyone been watching me in the house – darting from the front door to the back to see it coming down and slowly settling, giving a clean fresh white blanket – they would have thought I was quite silly and not mayor-like at all, but I didn’t care.

There was snow and I was pleased.

|Also in the news - the opening date of the Subway near the A259 in Littlehampton has finally been announced; police are appealing for information after a cat was found stabbed to death outside its owner’s house in Sussex; and a Worthing woman drank so much alcohol in one sitting that she took her own life, a coroner has concluded|

The next morning I was delighted to see it was still there and although it didn’t last long and was not that deep, it was wonderful to see children enjoying themselves, as I am sure we all would have when we were their age.

The rest of my week was mainly one of meetings and catching up on tasks like we all have to.

I even turned my hand to a bit of DIY with some tiling which I had been putting off as it is not something I thought I’d be any good at, but I surprised myself.

My main engagement for the week was on Sunday where I had been invited to watch the Sussex Tornados Cheerleaders in their showcase of their new competition routines which they have been working on since September.

The first thing that struck me, on entering their premises in Wick, was the hundreds of trophies they have won, and although I know they have been going since 1998 I didn’t realise they competed as much as this.

Based on the children’s ages of six upwards they are put into groups to learn their skills and are quite rightly called athletes.

This was being taken seriously and the gymnastics involved were amazing.

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Like me, you will likely have seen them perform at various events in town, but these performances are very different to what they are able to achieve at their hall as it has a professional sprung floor, and so the various groups entertained us all with brilliant routines which I cannot even begin to put into words.

However I will say some of the throws, catches, drops and stacks were amazing and I can only imagine the hours upon hours of training which must go in to making this achievable.

The group is completely run by volunteers, who aim to provide a facility for children and young adults in their community where they learn cheerleading routines and life skills to help them in their future.

The group has grown from strength to strength, and currently has approximately 100 children, plus their volunteers.

Over the years the group has competed across the world, and have even taken part in television appearances including ITV’s Let’s Get Gold in 2012.

In addition to physical fitness the team encourages a family ethos, and supports and encourages the development of the children as part of the community.

They are encouraged to support local events with their displays and raise funds so the group is self-funded as much as possible.

This ranges from cake sales, sponsored events, tombolas and more which the children are very much at the core of organising.

The coaches and volunteers provide valuable support for the children in a safe and friendly environment, helping them develop into adulthood.

Many of the former members move on to be coaches themselves and are now taking part as an adult troupe to help raise funds and the profile of the Sussex Tornados.

The Sussex Tornados are an all-inclusive group for boys and girls from the age of six upwards of all abilities.

The work of all the members, coaches and volunteers are a credit to the town and I cannot wait to find out how they do in their competitions this coming year.

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