This story was published in the Spring 2023 issue of Total Sports Quinte magazine
Cheerleading isn’t just about the throws, the flips and tumbling.
It’s noticeable, Pegasus Cheer Athletics coach Rachelle Provost says, when the athletes are genuinely loving what they do.
“It’s a spectacle of a sport and it takes a lot of muscle and time and practice, but then for them to go out there and it looks fun, that’s what really makes them stand out,” Provost said.
Three elite Pegasus teams competed at the 2023 Canadian Cheer National Championships in Niagara Falls April 14-16. The event attracts 8,000 competitors from across the country, especially Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Provost said there was even a team from Mexico.
Pegasus’ Equinox U16 placed an incredible fourth in Level 1 competition and there were also great results from the Eclipse U12 team – ninth in Level 1 competition – and the Impact open team ages 15 and older sixth in Level 3 non-tumble competition.
With their enjoyment for the sport, Provost said the Pegasus teams make the competition look easy, even though it’s not.
“We expect what they put in at practice is what they put on the floor and all three teams did that and we’re super excited with it,” Provost said.
These teams have been training since last June with the Equinox and Eclipse teams in the gym five hours twice a week and the open group three hours once a week.
“It’s definitely lots of work and they were super excited,” Provost said. “That’s their final competition of the season so it was a nice bow on the end of their season to get all those really good placements and feedback. All three of our teams hit zero, which means there were no faults, no deductions, no legalities so it’s a really big deal when you hit zero in the cheerleading world and they all hit zero on day two at nationals.”
It’s been a great season for the teams, including Equinox – a team of six – winning gold, silver and bronze medals at different competitions in addition to the nationals. Eclipse, a team of seven, traveled to Ottawa for a premier bid event called the Big East Showdown.
“They were competing against teams that were three times their size at some competitions,” Provost said of Equinox and Eclipse.
Impact, a team of 17, won two competitions earlier in the season.
Certain positive results for a growing Pegasus program.
“We had 116 athletes this year which is our largest season ever for our competitive program,” Provost said, adding the outlook is great to exceed those numbers next season.
Perhaps, Provost said, that’s in part to once again being able to offer full programs. Pegasus was shut down for in-person training for 102 days during the first COVID restrictions.
“Ever since then families have just been wanting fitness and they’ve been wanting fun for their kids to do and have after school activities. Socialization has been a huge part of our program. Our tagline is fitness, friends and fun and it’s something we’ve just pushed and the fact that you can have that and build relationships,” Provost said.
“Cheerleading is only a team sport. You cannot put anything up without everyone being there and being a part of it. I think a lot of parents are seeing a lot of benefits in team sports and having those connections and life skills. That’s been a huge thing that has helped us grow.”
Check out all that Pegasus has to offer, including the rebranding of its recreational program, at pegasuscheer.com