What did you think when the season cancelled? It started back in December as it always does. We got to venture up to the amazing Winter Gardens in Blackpool for the BCA Winter Weekender 2019. This time accompanied by our newest member, Helen who I have to say thoroughly enjoyed her weekend but definitely underestimated how loud it would be (We did warn her that cheerleaders can certainly be a noisy bunch). Albeit she absolutely loved it and joined us for the remainder of the season. In true Winter Weekender style, we got to witness and capture all of the action and performances that all the programs had been at work on throughout the off season. The first one is always a good one, as not only is it a competition but a little reunion for all of those familiar faces that we haven’t seen throughout the summer.
After a little break and some festivities, it was onto BCA Spring Spirit in Worcester where our very own Kane & Alastair were on point capturing the motion as all of the teams took to the mat. Whilst capturing the performances we also had our video master Paul running around capturing behind the scenes, all of the enjoyment and laughter throughout the weekend. Those that attended got to witness these moments through the big screen which the University Arena allowed us to use throughout. It was certainly all going on this weekend as after a very busy first day in Worcester, it was in the car, grab some grub and off to Unity for Alastair as we worked alongside them to photograph U-Debut 2020 which was an absolute privilege to do.
A Pom Performance from British Cheerleading Association competition at the SEC, Glasgow just before season cancelled
Whilst Alastair was away, it was down to Kane & Jane to capture the memories of Day 2 at Spring Spirit where we got to see the wonderful Cheerforce Ten for the second time of the season as they took to the floor with their outstanding dance routines. It is always fantastic to see what Rachel and her team have choreographed for their season. Their Lyrical Dance Frozen, just WOW!
Spring Spirit was the start of a very busy few weeks which would see us going from near on one end of the country to the other. It started at the K2 Centre in Crawley, which we thought would be a nice quiet one. Boy was we in for a shock! Absolutely amazing performances from all and even though we had a smaller team with just three of us it most definitely was not quite what we expected and I shall explain why. The competition happened to fall on Mr JPADs birthday and he was embarrassed by his brother with a giant rosette to wear all throughout. Athletes and attendees shouting HAPPY BIRTHDAY and wishing him a great day. Was absolutely wonderful and we thank every single one of you for that. Then it was packed down and what you would think is a relaxed absolutely shattered car journey back to HQ actually consisted of a Pizza Express and a 90s disco sing along. May the party go on!
That was week one so what was week two you say. Well it was from Crawley all the way to the Armadillo in Glasgow which even though it begins on the Saturday, it all actually starts for us on the Thursday as we make our way to Scotland with all of the equipment we take with us. It’s like a mini holiday, this year though it was a very cold one. The closer we got, the more snow we saw at which point we remembered we hadn’t packed enough jumpers lol.
It was set up on Friday which we erected the kiosk and created the studio to capture all of the teams that were due to attend throughout the weekend. Back in 2019 we attended Scottish Sensation for the first time so this year we knew what to expect. 16 hours of pure cheer and dance which truly shows the determination and dedication that every team and program has throughout the UK. We always find this when attending comps and find it absolutely amazing to see the true community spirit throughout every member of an organisation.
This led us on to have a little break, which gave us enough time to prepare for BCA Fundamentals – Newcastle at Sports Centre, Northumbria. A few technical difficulties to start with but like any event, you learn to adapt and overcome issues as you face them. Again absolutely amazing performance from a small proportion of the cheerleading world but very memorable ones. Like Crawley, this saw us have another 4 hour journey home which consisted of a 90s disco along with the A1.
Now there is a light intro into the season which we had as if we were to go into full details. I believe it would be the equivalent size to an Argos Catalogue. This was all leading up to what we could never have imagined happening. The competition which we had no idea was going to end the 2019/2020 season way ahead of schedule, unfortunately not by anyone’s doing.
The BCA University & School Nationals 2020 is definitely one we will remember for the rest of our lives. It all started with the week building up to the event, not knowing what was going to happen. The government was on edge not knowing whether to initiate lockdown which I speak for us but I’m sure others felt the same, on the edge of our seats. We prepared for the worst but the call came in that we could proceed!!!! I don’t think we have ever loaded Ernie Enterprise (JPAD van) so quickly in our lives. We headed to the venue to set up and were greeted by some familiar faces, the cheer family. Weirdly with everything going on it took quite a while before the dreaded ‘C’ word was even mentioned which to be honest was absolutely amazing as it was all anyone had heard about during the week building up to the event.
Ok when I say a while, it was about 30 minutes and once it started it didn’t stop. Talks of self-isolation, what was gonna happen with training and comps was at the top of everyone’s conversation list. Everyone was in a pure panic but with this panic, the amazing cheer spirit came through and the community shone through once again. Teams, programs were cheering on for more than just their own. Athletes were interacting and supporting one another really pushing the fact that we will cheer on and this won’t stop us. We will come together as one and conquer anything in our path. It was a truly spectacular competition to be a part of and the atmosphere is so hard to put across in words as it truly was one to remember.
So there you have it, 2019/2020 season in a nutshell. It was an absolutely amazing year even if it was cut short, we wouldn’t change any of the memories we made and captured for anything. We thank every single one of you that was part of it and we look forward to seeing you once again to cheer another day.
You can join us in treasuring the memories and let the season live on by viewing the photos from all of the competitions using the following links: