- By Sasha Ramnarine
Humber’s Cheer team hopes to win gold at the Power Cheer Athletics Nationals competition at the Powerade Centre in Brampton this weekend.
After winning gold at the Cheer Evolution national competition in March and silver at PCA Nationals in Dec. 2011, the team hopes to add more hardware this season.
“I know it’s going to be a great competition,” said base Mario Carino, a second-year fitness and health promotion student. “Hopefully, we’re going to come out on top. We’ve been practicing all year for this.”
The Hawks are a team that spectators and other teams have an eye on.
Two competitions are guaranteed for the Hawks on Saturday and they will advance to the next round if they are ranked following the preliminary round.
Mike Hardcastle, general manager of the Powerade Centre, says the event is sure to bring in a lot of spectators.
“We’re probably expecting over the course of tonight and tomorrow, probably in the neighbourhood of two to three-thousand people.”
Carino’s role as main base is vital to the team’s success.
“My role is to basically be underneath the flyers or the girls going up in the air and make sure they’re stable so they can hit their positions and hold the other girls in the pyramid.”
Coming off winning gold in March at Cheer Evolution in Kitchener, Ont., Carino highlights the importance of head coach Kristina McCahon as an integral factor of the team’s growth.
“She’s a great coach. She’s doing it almost by herself. She has an assistant coach,” Carino said. “She does a fantastic job and she’s starting to come into becoming a co-ed coach very well.”
Humber’s team is co-ed and Carino asserts being a male on a female dominated team comes with positives.
“People always crack jokes at first but then afterwards they see that I’m doing back flips and I’m throwing really attractive girls in the air,” said Carino. “And they trust me with their lives. Once you weigh out the options afterwards it’s really good.”
Last year, the Hawks rose to the top level of competitive cheerleading and placed second at the PCA Nationals.
“Humber was a couple levels lower. Last year was the year we came up to a level six team which means we are advanced and can perform complex manoeuvres,” said Carino. “It was pretty much a big shock to everyone we won second place as a level six team.”