The 24-strong team, with its youngest squad member 14 and oldest 37, had to win two competitions ” the AusCheer National Championships and the World Cup Cheer and Dance Asia Pacific Championships, in Queensland ” before they qualified to take on the 90 countries and over 22,000 athletes.
According to coach Elizabeth Gairdner, the nine hours of training a week put in by the squad paid off with their official world ranking.
‘For the team to get this ranking is amazing,’ she said.
‘In terms of how we stand nationally, WA is probably behind the other states as far as cheerleading goes, so for a WA team to be ranked 15th in the world is fantastic.’
The news was even better for four Starmites, Nollamara’s Lauren O’Brien, Bassendean’s Erin Joyce and Marangaroo pair Kiara and Tarryn Isard.
The four were selected in the Australian squad that took home the silver medal at the world championships, and Mrs Gairdner said she was extremely proud of the girls.
‘I knew they were good so I nominated them just to see how they would go, but I was so proud when they were selected for the national team.
‘Considering where WA is at in the Australian scheme of things, to have four girls selected in the 24-person squad is just amazing, and they did so well at the competition, they definitely deserve everything they have achieved.’
The Starmites are now working on establishing a girls team to take part in next year’s World Championships.