Well, hasn't this just been a term of ups and downs?! We came back to training after 6 months off, got our Return To Play document signed off by the government to allow us to stunt again and then immediately went back into lockdown before making it back into the gym with 2 weeks to spare before we break up for Christmas! Phew!
We have quite a lot to share with you in this newsletter so grab yourself a mulled wine and a mince pie and settle in to hear what we've been up to over the past couple of months!
Again, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to all our athletes and parents for your continued check-ins, support and understanding throughout this pandemic. It really does mean so much to us. We know the constantly changing guidelines have been challenging and we really appreciate your willingness to follow the rules we have put in place to keep all our athletes and coaches safe. We would also like to remind you that even though the world feels a little more normal now and many of our athletes are able to mingle without distancing at school, inside the gym we need to abide by strict social distancing guidelines. This is to ensure the safety of our entire Hellcats family and our ability to continue running training sessions.
To recap, as per our Covid-19 policy:
- All athletes are to stand on socially distanced markers on the ground while waiting outside the gym for their session.
-Athletes must wait to be called into the gym by a coach and go directly to their allocated spot on the floor, taking their belongings with them.
-Athletes and coaches must use hand sanitiser on entering AND exiting the gym.
-Athletes are reminded that there are no facilities available to refill water bottles at the gym so please make sure you bring enough water to last the whole session.
-Athletes and coaches are to maintain social distancing when inside the gym at all times.
-Athletes and coaches are required to bring masks to training to be worn when working on formations in close proximity to one another. Please note that recent government guidance states it is not required to wear a face covering during physical activity (this includes stunting and tumbling). Given the nature of our sport and the physical closeness our athletes have to maintain in stunting, if you or your child would prefer to wear a face covering while stunting this is of course fine and a matter of personal preference. If you have any concerns about this please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
-Coaches will ensure they wear masks whenever working on stunts or spotting tumbles. This includes Junior Coaches.
We are so thrilled with the determination of our athletes this half- term, especially during our 4 weeks online! We know how hard it can be to stay motivated in these circumstances and we are so thankful to all our athletes who attended our online sessions and participated in our Lockdown League!
We are excited to announce that our winning team was *drumroll please*...
...PANTHERS! With a whopping 96 points, these girls really pulled it off! They had great team attendance at all online training and tumble sessions, they submitted loads of extra practice videos and kept their team spirit up by making posters, baking Hellcats themed cakes and even a Hellcats pizza!
Well done girls, prizes will be heading your way shortly!
We have seen so many orders coming in for Christmas and there is still time to place an order for a last-minute gift. Our deadline for the majority of our clothing item and personalised items was 1st December and while you can still place orders for these items, we can no longer guarantee that they will arrive in time for Christmas.
Our in-stock items (water bottles, training kits, blankets, backpacks, etc) are available to be ordered until December 15th for guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas so make sure you check out our online store to see what we have! We've been busy adding new products this season so if you haven't had a look yet, now is a perfect time!
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that your cheerleader requires a team bow and white cheerleading shoes for competition. (If you are a rec athlete, these are not essential for you but cheer shoes are a great benefit to training and we have Rec bows available too). The bows make ideal stocking fillers and many cheer shoe providers are still able to turn around orders in time for Christmas if you order soon!
Until now we weren't able to stunt so shoes weren't so important but you may have noticed that we have recently transported our full floor of mats over to Fullbrook. In order to protect these, and to help our athletes get the best out of their training sessions now we can stunt again, we will be requiring all cheerleaders to have cheer shoes when they return to training in January. Outdoor shoes will no longer be allowed to be worn on the mats and if your child does not have shoes, they will not be able to participate in stunting. Further information about cheerleading shoes and options at different price points can be found further down this newsletter.
Fancy Dress Week
Next week (week commencing 13th December) is our last week of training for 2020 - how is that possible?! So, to celebrate everyone's favourite time of the year, we are having a Christmas themed fancy dress week next week! All week cheerleaders and coaches are encouraged to wear Christmas jumpers, decorate themselves with tinsel and have some festive fun at training! We can't wait to see what you turn up in!
We are also running our annual team Secret Santas. We know this has been a difficult year for many people and not everyone may be in a position where they can afford to buy a Secret Santa present. So, to help with this, instead of doing our usual name draw, we are asking anyone who wants to participate in Secret Santa to bring a wrapped present to their team training session next week and drop it into Santa's Sack. Everyone who brings in a present will then be allowed to pick a present from Santa's Sack in return. If you want to be involved, simply bring a present. If you don't, don't worry about it, no questions asked.
We do ask that if your present is food-related that you ensure it is nut-free. We have a handful of athletes across our programme that have severe nut allergies and we would hate for them to not be able to participate due to this. Thank you for your understanding.
Things have been very up in the air recently regarding our earlier competitions. We can now confirm that our April competition (ICE Blast, Crawley, 3-4th April) has been postponed. We are currently awaiting further information from the Event Providers regarding the new competition dates and what this means for our club so please bear with us and we will share this information with you as soon as possible.
You may have noticed a few extra faces in the gym this half term. We are thrilled to be able to finally invite our Junior Coaches into the gym to begin their coaching journeys! Our Junior Coaches are athletes of ours aged 14+ with a couple of years of experience under their belts that have expressed an interest in learning how to become a coach in our exciting sport. These girls will be working with our lead coaches to learn the ins and outs of coaching and will be tasked with creating elements for the routine, drills for stunts and tumbling, correcting technique, leading warm ups etc. They will be undertaking their Junior Coaching course in January and we couldn't be more excited for them. If you would like to get to know them better, check out their introductions on our Instagram or their bios on the coaching pageof our website.
Some of you may be aware that this season we are beyond excited to have our first ever Travel Team! Wildcats are hoping to compete in Amsterdam in May and we are currently fundraising to raise money to go towards uniforms for them to wear when they compete. In January, we will be doing a raffle to help with this and we already have some amazing prizes coming in! Keep your eyes peeled on our social media platforms for a sneak peek at what is up for grabs!
Tickets will be available in the gym from week and can be bought over the Christmas holidays by transferring the money into the Hellcats bank account and using your athlete's name and the number of tickets you would like as the reference.
Tickets cost £1 each or a strip of 5 for £4.
To make it a bit more fun, ALL cheerleaders are encouraged to sell as many tickets as possible to friends/family/work colleagues etc. We will be keeping track of how many tickets each cheerleader sells and the cheerleader who sells the most tickets before we draw the raffle will win a prize!
So, make sure you keep track of who you sell tickets to as we will need their names for their tickets. When the raffle is drawn, due to Covid restrictions, the prize will be given to the Hellcat the winner is associated with to be passed on.
We will be drawing the raffle live on Thursday 14th January during our Wildcats training session. The deadline for ticket purchases will be Wednesday 13th January at 8pm.
Phew! That was a lot of information! Thanks for sticking through with us until the end. We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas, thank you for all your support this year - we couldn't have made it without you!
We can't wait to put 2020 behind us and see all your smiling faces back in the gym in 2021!
See you at training!
Rachel, Laura, & Annie x
ALL Hellcats will be required to have cheerleading shoes when we return to the gym from 4th January 2021. These can either be sport-specific shoes (links are provided at the bottom of this email) or can just be plain white trainers with a relatively smooth sole. These shoes are not allowed to be worn outdoors and must be changed into once in the gym. If you have any questions, please reach out to your coach.
Next week, all training sessions will be Christmas Dress Up themed!
Christmas jumpers and tinsel are welcome!
Team Secret Santas are also next week so bring a present if you would like to be involved!
Please ensure that any food-related gifts are nut-free to protect our athletes with allergies.
The deadline for our in-stock merchandise orders is 15th December 2020 to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas. We have backpacks, blankets, water bottles, face coverings, bum bags, training kits and more all available on our online store. The order deadline for our custom clothing (hoodies, sweatshirts etc) has now passed. We are still able to accept orders for these but cannot guarantee Christmas delivery.
Clicking on the images above will take you to some websites that sell cheerleading specific shoes. We understand that cheerleading is an expensive sport, especially for young children that grow quickly. For this reason, we do not require our athletes to have a particular shoe. As long as they are plain white, sturdy, have relatively flat soles and are not worn outdoors, they will be perfect.