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Area cheerleaders set to take on the world

Sarnia’s Bluewater Cheer teams are making waves here and around the globe.

Nine full-time teams are going to Nationals this weekend in Niagara Falls, with one team heading on to Worlds on April 26.

That team heading to Worlds happens to be Tidal Wave, who are making their second trip in as many years to Orlando, Florida. There, they will go up against teams from around the world at the ESPN Center in Walt Disney World.

“They’ve got that fire in them,” says one of the teams coaches Erin Belton, adding, “We had three opportunities to get a bid [to attend Worlds] and we got it at our third one. There’s really been a shift from the stress of wanting to get our bid, to now — it’s just okay, let’s keep pushing; let’s see how far we can go.”

A lot of hard work goes into being a member of the Bluewater Cheer team and this dedication doesn’t go unnoticed by Belton.

“They really have to prioritize their lives,” she tells The Journal. “They are in here on the weekend, they have extra practices, they are so driven and they want to put their best on the floor. 

“They want to end their season being like, ‘oh my God that was our run; that was the best one we did this season,’” Belton adds. “This is where they put their dedication and time into and they do it for themselves, but also each other.”

The camaraderie is evident at the club, with over 237 athletes on among 12 competitive teams.

High School student and Tidal group member Victoria Comlon can’t get enough of the cheer atmosphere.

“It’s been the best experience ever,” says the 16-year-old athlete. “It’s just such a great family and close-knit environment.”

Cheerleading is also special because you can cheer as long as your body can do the moves, Belton adds.

“We have classes starting at three-years-old and our first team, which is a recreational team, starts at five.

“The blessing of Tidal Wave, is that it’s an open team, so there is no age cap on that. We have someone on the team who is 27, so it’s really for all ages.”

Belton says there are many opportunities to test the cheer waters before committing to a full season. There are summer camps, tumbling classes, and recreational classes athletes can partake in and learn the ropes.

“There’s always open doors for those looking to join the BCA family,” Belton says.

“From day one this gym has made me feel like I’ve been here for all 11 seasons and I’ve only been here for a few, and it’s really a family atmosphere,” Belton says, adding she can’t get enough of all the support from the athletes and owners.

As for what Belton would tell all the athletes heading to their final competitions of the season: “I just want to tell them how proud I am of them. They’ve pushed through injuries and everything.

"And what happens, happens, at competition, but just leave it all on the floor and make it your best run, end on a high note.”

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