Winnipeg cheerleaders prepare to take on world's best at U.S. tournament
Oak Park cheerleaders, 4 other Canadian teams head to Florida for World Cheerleading Championships
A group of Winnipeg teens will have a chance to toss, flip and spin their way onto the podium in an international tournament against the world's best high school cheerleaders this weekend.
Oak Park High School's cheerleading team won a bid last fall to compete against 32 elite squads from across the globe. The team travelled to Orlando, Fla., on Sunday and will hit the mats both days this weekend as part of the International Cheer Union's World Cheerleading Championships.
"It's definitely crunch time right now; they're pushing hard," coach Charwin Dahl said. "Even though it's super difficult, it's really exciting and what they've accomplished is just amazing."
Majestic Moerland said she is confident she and her fellow cheerleaders will put their best feet forward at this year's event.
"I'm really excited, but I am also really nervous," she said. "We have other teams from Canada going with us, so we won't be total strangers within the competition."
In the meantime, Moerland said one of the biggest challenges facing the team will be staying focused and perfecting their routines.
"Of course we get discouraged when things don't go as planned, but we get back up from it very quickly," she said.
Oak Park finished in third place at the 2014 world championships.
Dahl said the team received funds to attend the February tournament after winning the Manitoba Association of Cheerleading provincial championships in 2015.