'Golden ticket' to international cheerleading competition extended to North Battleford squad

A North Battleford-based cheerleading squad has received a bid to participate at an international cheerleading competition in Orlando, Fla. later this spring.

Team has been training for competition since last summer

The team will compete in Level 5 against teams from around the globe. Levels of cheerleading are determined by the difficulty of tricks and acrobatics required, with each level involving more expertise and coordination. (Submitted by Cheer Legacy Athletics)

A North Battleford-based cheerleading squad has received a bid to participate at an international cheerleading competition in Orlando, Fla. later this spring.

A bid is also known as an invitation, but coach Lesia Rathje said it's "like a golden ticket" for the team, Cheer Legacy Athletics.

"It's honestly hard for people who aren't involved in the sport to understand but it is the utmost honour, especially for a small community like ours," Rathje said Tuesday. 

Cheer Legacy is one of five Saskatchewan teams off to the 2018 United States All Star Federation Cheerleading World Championships at the end of April. It's the first time an invitation has been extended to the team. 

They will compete in Level 5 against teams from around the globe. Levels of cheerleading are determined by the difficulty of tricks and acrobatics required, with each level involving more expertise and coordination. 

"It's a once in a life time opportunity for these kids, for our community and our program. It's just quite special," Rathje said, who will attend the championships for her first time as a coach. 

The group heading to Orlando will run 15 people strong, with the competitors between the ages of 15 and 26. Rathje said they're all excited but the fact may not set in with the athletes until they're actually on the plane to Orlando. 

They have been practicing since June and competing since December. The team received the invitation on March 15 during a team practice. 

"When we found out we were going, there was a lot of screaming and a lot of tears."