Bring it on: Gympie Cheerleader to make history at US champs
CHEERLEADING: It may not be the most well known sport but this Gympie cheerleader will make history in the US.
Eliza Parker is apart of a 24 person squad and will be the first Gympie cheerleader to compete in a major US cheerleading event.
She will be apart of team Reign from Inspire Athletics on the Gold Coast who will jet off to Orlando, Florida in April for The Summit All Star Cheerleading Championships in May.
"This will be my first overseas competition. I have been competing at nationals in Melbourne and the Gold Coast for the last two years,” she said.
"There will be a lot of competitors. At nationals in Australia we had about 15,000 competitors.”
The event has teams from all over the world to compete from levels 1 to 6, (six being the highest) and compete in senior, junior and open divisions.
The process to be selected is very competitive, only 12 per cent of the teams who apply receive a bid to go Summit and those who compete at the event have a 3 per cent chance of placing.
"We were the only Australian team to get the open four bid in Australia. It is super competitive but am hopping to hit a zero routine which means no deductions and hopefully place amongst the best team in our division,” Parker said.
"It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and to find a team in Australia that is going to Summit is massive.”
The US is the pinnacle of the sport and Parker is hoping to learn more and further her skills.
"The experience I am excited for is to compete in a different country and getting to watch teams from the US, which is the best cheer country and to see what the standard is like ,” she said.
"I also want to experience cheer in a different level to what we have in Australia.”
Parker's team Reign started their rigorous 14 week training program for the event on Monday.
"It will be pretty intensive. We will be training everyday for the first week and then doing a couple days for the rest of the term,” she said.
"We will do a two and a half minute routine which consists of tumbling, jumps, stunting, a pyramid and dance. I am a tumbler and a secondary base, so I throw people in the air and I jump and dance.”
The cost for one athlete to attend the event is $5150 and Parker's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs.
"It is going to cost (most than) $5000 and any amount is going to help,” she said.
"I appreciate anything I can get to get me to Summit.”
The Summit will be start in the US on May 3 to May 5.