They’ve got spirit, yes they do! We are talking about the Brantford Cheer Club, of course. The Brantford Cheer Club (Bolts) is an All-Star cheerleading team dedicated to teaching leadership, strength, teamwork and trust to athletes from as young as 5 to 14 years of age through their Mini Cheer, Youth Cheer, and Senior Cheer competitive and noncompetitive programs.
Brantford Cheer Club started in 2017 by Abbey Girard, Owner and Artistic Director of Studio A, Academy of Performing Arts. Cheerleaders learn skills such as tumbling, stunting, dance and choreography, as well as performance techniques. The Bolts are at the end of their second season and have seen exponential growth over the last two years. Starting with just under 40 athletes, the club now boasts well over 100 athletes. The club, currently operating out of Access Sports & Entertainment at 101 Wayne Gretzky Parkway, has expanded to include programs such as: Tumbling Tots, Recreational Cheer, Pre Cheer, Tumbling, Summer Camps, Clinics and Workshops, and private lessons as well.
Over Family Day weekend in February, the Brantford Bolts’ Avery Stapleton was awarded first place for her independent cheer routine at Canadian Cheer’s Ontario Championships in Kitchener. Stapleton, age 8, faced off against six athletes from some of the largest gyms in Canada. Stapleton started her tumbling training at Studio A in 2016 before joining Brantford Cheer the following year. Stapleton’s choreographer and coach, Maggie Jansen, is overwhelmed with pride and joy for Stapleton’s success.
Coach Girard adds, “We all know how talented she is. There is no question about that, but when we go to these competitions we don’t expect to win BIG. We are the newest All Star gym and all of our athletes are very new to this sport. We enter these competitions to enjoy the experience and have a great time. When Avery won this weekend it was definitely a proud moment for everyone at the club. I think she has really inspired the rest of our athletes to keep learning and growing.”
Stapleton, among other athletes from Brantford Cheer, is gearing up for the next competition and their first crack at Nationals. Canadian Cheer’s National Competition will be held April 15-17 at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. The Bolts have four All-Star Cheer teams heading off to Nationals in the following divisions: Youth Level 1 & Level 2 (Ages 5-11), Junior Level 3 (Ages 8-15), and Senior Level 1 (Ages 11-16).
“It’s our first year attending Nationals and all of our athletes are so excited for this experience,” Girard said.
All Star tryouts for Season 3 will begin in May, with the season officially starting in July. The club will also be running summer camps and tumbling classes in July and August. Recreational programs and Prep Cheer registration will open in July with all programs starting in September.
For more information about Brantford Cheer Club, please click here.
For more information about Studio A, Academy of Performing Arts, please click here.