It was a full house at the Trafalgar Center in Nelson as 370 cheerleaders leapt and spun their way through a series of synchronized, high-energy routines during the inaugural South Island Show Offs competition.
Event organizer and manager of Nelson cheerleading club Electrix Cheersport Maxine Noar said the athletes performing on Saturday represented eight different clubs, stretching from Wellington to Otago.
“We were overwhelmed by the support from the Nelson community,” Noar said. “A lot of people who came don’t do cheerleading; they just came to watch the spectacle.”
As a consequence, Noar had received “lots” of messages and emails from people who saw the event and now wanted to try cheerleading themselves.
* Hundreds of cheerleaders to compete in biggest yet Nelson competition
* Electrix pair cheerleading the way with persistence and passion
* Nelson cheerleaders tumble, jump and dance their way to gold and silver
For some family members of the 80 competitive athletes from Electrix, it was the first time they had seen them compete as previous competitions had been “out of town”.
Electrix won the grand champions crown for the specialties at the South Island Show Offs with Elsie Aitken and Elyse Karatai winning the junior level 3 duo and receiving the highest score in the category.
The Nitro youth novice team from Electrix also won gold, and then the novice division.
Noar said Electrix took home four golds and one silver in the specialties and seven golds in the teams.
The recreation teams from Electrix – Shock, Ember and Charge – took out first, second and third place respectively in the recreational division while Broadgreen and Waimea Intermediate were first and second in their intermediate school division.
“They all did really well,” Noar said of the Electrix athletes. “I’m really proud of them.”
The overall grand champion of the South Island Show Offs was the Jagz team, from All Star Pride in Christchurch with the highest score in the competition.
Teams from All Star Pride were named grand champions in multiple levels at the event.
Noar said she was considering running the South Island Show Offs again next year and making it bigger.