ONE of Bunbury's only cheerleading teams has taken out multiple wins at the 2021 All Things Cheer event at HBF stadium in Perth last month.
Over Saturday and Sunday, November 11 and 12, four teams from Toxic Cheer Bunbury placed in first, second or third, and also took out overall program champions.
The event saw the Tiaras (minis level one), Royals (youth level two), Dark Royalty (senior level one) and Diamonds (senior level two) all place.
Toxic Cheer director Josh Coker, who is based in both Port Kennedy and Bunbury, said the wins were a great achievement for the club.
"With cheerleading being so new to Bunbury, and with the club being quite small, it's a really good feeling to achieve these results," Coker said.
"It's really nice not only for the staff but for the teams because it shows them that all their hard work paid off.
"It takes a long time to get the teams and all the kids prepared, but it showed that everybody trusted the process also. No greatness is achieved in a day."
Established in 2012, Toxic Cheer and Dance has over 500 athletes, with around 80 aged three to 18 based in Bunbury.
In addition to providing classes on cheerleading, dance and tumbling, Coker said being part of Toxic Cheer wasn't just about "turning up and learning skills", but also about feeling "part of something".
"Our club ethos is to create safe space for young girls to grow into strong women.
"It's not just about athletic training, but more about emotional coaching in a safe space.
"We try to create that feeling of having that second home to go to, to be part of our family, and the purple heart."
With teams of mostly girls, Coker said it was important to change the old stereotype of cheering, which he said was frequently referred to as "pom poms and all females".
"That's exactly what I thought it was when I first started cheerleading, but when I went to my first lesson I couldn't believe how hard it was," Coker said.
"Males in our sport are completely underrated and people in general just don't understand how physically demanding the sport is.
"But once athletes start to get into it and fully understand what cheerleading is, they tend to end up enjoying it."
As the All Things Cheer competition was the last event of 2021 for Toxic Cheer, Coker said the teams were now looking to the future.
"The next step for the Bunbury teams is getting them competing at a national level," Coker said.
Our club ethos is to create safe space for young girls to grow into strong women."Toxic Cheer director Josh Coker
"We're also always looking for new members, and I'd like the community to know that our door is always open."
Interested in becoming a cheerleader?
Contact Toxic Cheer Bunbury at email@example.com.