More than 200 athletes are set to benefit from state-of-the-art flooring thanks to funding from British Steel’s Landfill Communities Funding scheme.
Tsunami Allstars is a Scunthorpe-based competitive and recreational cheerleading club and has recently used British Steel’s £10,000 grant to install a new sprung floor. Hayley Pearson, joint founder of the club and one of only 4 level-6 qualified coaches in the area, said: “This new sprung floor will enable us to significantly develop our programme. Including us, there are only 3 All Star Elite teams in Lincolnshire so this will really help put us on the map and hopefully give our athletes the amazing opportunity to train for Team England in the coming years.”
Hayley, together with Roxanne Bower, set up Tsunami Allstars in February 2016 and since then, the club has gone from strength to strength. Starting with 20 athletes in a small dance studio, they now have more than 200 on their books. Hayley said: “We saw a great opportunity to introduce a new sport to the area and, 5 years on, to have our own training facility with a fully sprung floor is unbelievable!
“We’re really thankful for British Steel’s investment. Now that our athletes can start returning to training, I’m sure they’ll also welcome these much-improved training facilities. Having a sprung floor means they can progress their skills more quickly and in a safe environment.”
The new floor has now been revealed to the athletes and has been received with much excitement. Isaac, 5, said: "I can't wait to bounce on the sprung floor and do my roly-polys and cartwheels, it is going to be so much fun! I will be able to jump around like Spiderman." Robyn, aged 8, said: “The sprung floor will help me get over my fears with tumble and because I'm not as worried about hurting myself, I’ll just go for it.” And 10-year-old Mia added: “My dream is to go to the World Cheerleading Championships as a flyer and tumbler so having the sprung floor will really help progress my skills to achieve this.”
Tsunami Allstars continues to grow with local clubs in Barton and Gainsborough too. They’re also working with the 2 other regional All Star Elite teams to launch Lincs Elite – a county-level travel team for elite athletes in Lincolnshire – and are introducing an ever-growing range of fitness programmes, including Cheer Fit, a fitness workout for busy parents. With a yearly scholarship programme and a new schools community programme kicking off, the future for the club looks bright.
Johanna Williams, Environment Specialist and member of British Steel’s community steering group, said: “What Hayley and Roxeanne, supported by the coaching team, have achieved is really impressive. They’re making significant improvements not only to the health but also the mental wellbeing of local youngsters – and adults too – in a fun and challenging sport. Participating in sport can equip young people with valuable life skills too such as commitment, dedication and responsibility, so is something we’re keen to encourage.
“We were very pleased to support their request to raise the standard of their facilities and provide opportunities to progress even further. We wish the club and its athletes every success for the future.”
British Steel’s grant came as a part of the Landfill Communities Fund, a government scheme that enables organisations operating landfill sites to invest a proportion of their landfill tax to support community and environmental projects.
COVID-19 meant the club, like others, had to temporarily shut its doors, however, the club hasn’t stood still through its enforced closure. Hayley said: “During lockdown, we’ve invested in some amazing coach training opportunities. The athletes have had the chance to work with the world’s top coaches from the UK, USA and Canada.
“The Team England cheerleaders first won gold in the world champions in 2017 and this success has continued – 2019 was the best year yet with success for our Junior Queens, Coed Elite, All-female Elite and ParaCheer teams.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see athletes from the Scunthorpe area competing on the world stage at an international level? And with cheerleading having been recently accepted as an Olympic sport, there could be some amazing experiences ahead of us!”