Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 03-03-2015 Contents DUEL IN THE DESERT
US trip proves a
The Sirens Cheerleaders team at Duel in the Desert in the US last month.
Photo: Aaron Clark
The ACT s first cheerleading team
to compete internationally has just
returned to Canberra after a
successful debut in the United
A 14-strong contingent from
Cheerleaders travelled overseas in
late January to compete in the Duel
in the Desert Championship held in
Palm Springs, California.
Head coach Rianna McDougall
said the touring team, Fusion, was
an amalgamated team of
hardworking athletes ranging from
10 to 18 year-olds.
We had to draw athletes from
all of our squads, she said.
"We took all those that wanted to
go for our first trip because it is a
really special opportunity and one
we wanted to offer to everyone in
the right age group."
McDougall said as soon as
suitcases filled with hairspray,
uniforms, cheer shoes and make-up
were unpacked, a team excursion
for a Californian spray tan was in
She said all star cheerleading
was judged over six cheer levels
and Fusion competed with a level
"The girls gave up a lot of their
school holidays and were in our
sprung floor gym four hours a day,
four days a week, for two intensive
weeks before we left," McDougall
Hours of practice and
perspiration culminated with a two
and-a-half 1G2 minute routine in
front of the judges.
"It s a tiny blip of time to show
off all your skills perfectly and
everyone has to be synchronised to
pull it off," McDougall said.
Emily Hessen, 14, was the eldest
of three sisters who travelled from
her home in Bonner to compete as
part of Fusion.
It was the first time the year 9
student -- and sisters Olivia, 12, and
Sophia, 11 -- had been to the US.
The sisters were enamoured by
the scale of the sport there.
"It was incredible to get to go to
the US, let alone going to Duel in
the Desert and see some of the best
teams in the world," Emily said.
"In America cheer is just
I would love for it to be like
that in Australia."
McDougall said that
preparations were already under
way to take part in more
"We are working toward a
competition in Hawaii in two
years," she said.
Open garden for
plant fair visitors
The Lanyon Plant Fair will be held at
the historic Lanyon Homestead over
the weekend of March 21-22.
Presented by Open Gardens
Australia, the fair will feature more
than 30 producers, plant growers,
garden art and sculpture exhibitors and
garden tool vendors.
Guests will also have the
opportunity to stroll through the
carefully preserved gardens to view
the flowing perennials, spectacular
roses and vegetable garden containing
The weekend will also include talks
by garden specialists and a free
children s program.
The event will be held at Lanyon
Homestead on Tharwa Drive, Tharwa.
Entry is $10. Children under 18 get
CELEBRATION OF YOUTH
IN THE COMMONWEALTH
The 11th annual Commonwealth Day
multifaith celebration takes place in
Barton on Monday from 11am to
12.15pm. The theme for this year s
celebration is youth and the
Commonwealth . The event draws
together leaders from all major
religions while cultural performances
are provided. Governor-General Sir
Peter Cosgrove will attend.
Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the
G20 Youth Summit, Holly Ransom,
will be this year s special guest. Her
address to the congregation will focus
on the theme. The event takes place at
the Centre for Christianity and Culture
Chapel on 14 Blackall Street, Barton.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 24
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