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Cheerleading proves to be a lot of hard work and dedication

Begin with a passionate coach dedicated to the sport and add 10 to 15 hyper girls, and you get a three-day cheerleading camp.
During Monday's camp, girls aged eight to 12 learned new, funky dance moves, stunts, and how to properly use their pompoms.

Begin with a passionate coach dedicated to the sport and add 10 to 15 hyper girls, and you get a three-day cheerleading camp. Bonnie Chepil-Kvamme has been sitting on the Saskatchewan Cheerleading Association executive for many years and has been coaching the sport for 18 years.For Kvamme it's sheer determination and her love for cheerleading that has kept her motivated and is an inspiration to many young girls and boys. Coaching the three-day camp, which has been in operation for three years, began when Kvamme was approached by Andrea Stelnicki, who was in charge of parks and recreation at the time."She was a long-time cheerleader and she heard about the strength of the program that existed in Estevan, so she asked if I'd be able to do that for younger children."The participants in the camp are taught new, spunky, dance moves, the basic cheer motion, stunts and how to use pompoms."They walk away knowing that cheerleading is a lot of hard work; they learn jumps they can do, they learn funky dances. It's different for a lot of them, but it is a lot of hard work."I hope a new appreciation for cheerleading is what they walk away with because it's very athletic," said Kvamme. The appreciation for the sport is one thing, but getting involved is another important aspect Kvamme stresses; the sport is for any gender not only girls, all are welcome. "Cheerleading is not just restricted to females, it is also a male sport; I wouldn't say it is just segregated to girls."We held Saskatchewan Cheerleading Association provincials here in 2006, and our gym was packed, there were over 500 people in attendance. I think it opened the eyes of many to see boys out on the floor doing the athletic portion of it. They don't dance, they just lift, they do stunts," she said. For the boys involved, it has proven to be a gateway to a new and exciting career, said Kvamme."They seem to have enjoyed it quite a bit. We've had boys who graduated from the Comp going on to cheer university teams, so it's something they have taken with them."As for the increase in popularity for cheerleading in the province, Kvamme said she could not be more excited to have witnessed the growth."It's so nice to fuel that new interest, it's very much so up-and-coming in Saskatchewan. If I can pass that love of it along, it's great."