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    Matrix Cheer team heading to major international competition

    matrix cheerteam1

    The Matrix Cheer All-Stars are heading to compete at The Summit in Florida in May. Photo submitted

    They’ve tumbled, tossed, jumped and stunted through Alberta and Saskatchewan, and now the Matrix Cheer All-Stars are ready to take on the world.
    The Senior Level 3 team won an invitation to a massive event during the recent Pacific All-Star Championship held in Calgary. For the first week of May, 18 team members and two coaches will represent the club at The Summit, which is held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
    That team is made up of 12- to 16-year-olds so this is a major accomplishment for them.
    “Usually you wouldn’t go to a worlds until you are over 18, so it’s pretty exciting for these kids,” said parent association manager Janet Almond.
    “They’ve had so much fun and really have bonded this year. It’s a great group of kids. It’s about building life skills at this point and this is exactly what team does. They teach teamwork and perseverance. It’s more than just a sport.”
    This competition isn’t cheap however, so the club is in the process of setting up fundraisers. They have a WestJet raffle that will close in the middle of March, plus there is a dinner planned for Strathmore on April 13.
    The team members are actively looking for sponsorships around Chestermere. Although the club is based in Strathmore, they draw athletes from Chestermere, Langdon and area.
    The team is committed to going to Florida but some extra money will be a big help.
    “We have to raise $25,000, about $1,500 per athlete,” Almond said. “We will be sending our team but this eases the burden on the parents.
    “All of our parents know this is such a fantastic thing. They have committed to sending the kids but the more we fundraise the easier it will be on us parents. Some of the parents have two athletes so that’s $3,000.”
    The club, which consists of 52 athletes on four teams, has finished in the top three in various competitions this year. This past weekend they were in Warman, Sask., while they head to Edmonton this weekend for the True North Cheer and Dance Championships. On March 16-17, they will be heading to the Stampede City Showdown in Calgary.
    So far this season, they’ve gone to competitions in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, but that’s just minor compared to The Summit.
    “It’s literally the world championships for levels one, two, three and four,” Almond said. “It goes up to level five and six and they call it the world championships. We have The Summit. It’s attainable compared to the level five and six teams.
    “These kids are unbelievable. Usually those ones who go to worlds are between 18 and 25. They are phenomenal athletes.”