Bognor Regis cheerleading club raises funds for its own gym

A growing cheerleading club, which is fighting misconceptions around the sport, is raising funds towards securing a home to call its own.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:59 am
One of the senior cheerleading teams

Smart Cheer was founded at the end of 2016 and has been doubling in size each year, according to coach Dani Jurgelewicz, aged 23.

The club currently trains at the Regis Gymnastics in Durban Road, Bognor Regis, but having enough space and time for classes is proving difficult, which is why it is hoping to rent its own gym.

“Having our own gym would give us so many more opportunities – from offering more classes to running private tumbling sessions,” Dani said.

The youngest team involves children aged five to nine

“We’ve got a lot of plans – but right now we are a bit restricted.”

A crowdfunding page with a target of £10,000 has been set up and the club will also be holding events to raise money throughout the coming year.

Dani said they were hoping to find somewhere suitable to train for competitions in Bognor Regis.

“Cheerleading is quite an intense sport which requires certain equipment,” she said. “We need a large space to practice in, we need a sponge floor.”

The teams are involved in competitions around the area

Members at the club range in age from five to 25 and while there is currently only one boy signed up, Dani said they were keen to get more involved and to challenge stereotypes about the sport.

She said: “A lot of the misconceptions are that it’s dancing, it’s a ‘girly’ sport.

“People don’t realise how much strength it takes to do the stunts. We are lifting people up, it’s a hard sport.”

Dani, who has been cheerleading since she was 12, said the sport also helped young people grow in confidence and make new friends.

“This is the closest team I’ve ever been in,” she said. “Everyone is like one big family.”