HKR student headed to national cheerleading competition

Ms. Hurley was a competitive gymnast for more than 12 years. She was put in gymnastics by her mother when she was two. "I apparently liked to climb around the furniture, so she figured a gym would be a good safe place for me. I did well at gymnastics due to great coaching, and a lot of dedication. I stayed in gymnastics until I was 17."

In February Ms. Hurley, who's about to graduate from Memorial, and some teammates from the provincial gymnastics team submitted a video and two weeks later she was named to the All Girl Canadian National Team.

The tryout video included four or five different stunts that were a variation of the requirements for the team, and then about 30 seconds of tumbling and jump sequences. "Making the team was pretty amazing. I am insanely new to the sport of cheerleading, so I was completely unaware of the possibility. When I found out I was extremely shocked, but very excited and honored to be able to be able to represent the country at an international competition."

"There are a lot of misconceptions with cheerleading. Being a gymnast, it was pretty easy to stereotype the sport prior to my exposure to it," admitted Ms. Hurley. "However, the 2.5 minutes that you are on that floor performing is the hardest 2.5 minutes I have ever done. The routine is extremely demanding in terms of cardiovascular fitness and strength. Not only is extremely exhausting and challenging, you also have to look good while doing it. It is a lot more difficult than I had originally anticipated, but it is a rush that it just incredible."

Ms. Hurley said she loves be part of a team. "I have a lot to give to a high energy close knit environment." And being a gymnast has given her the physical skills and the upper body strength required for stunts.

The International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Competition is in Orlando Florida on April 27. The Canadian team has won gold six times at this competition in previous years.