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Camp Woodward, Tora’s Journey

Cheerleading today is becoming increasingly popular and here at BCD, we are seeing a number of athletes push themselves during the summer in preparation for the season ahead.

We followed one athlete, Tora, who journeyed to the USA to take part in the renowned Camp Woodward.

What is Camp Woodward?
Camp Woodward is the world’s best cheerleading summer camp where expert instruction and the best facilities are combined and offered to athletes from all over the world. Focussing on tumbling and stunting, Camp Woodward not only encourages quick learning and progression but is also the perfect setting to build friendships with cheerleaders across the globe.

Like many other UK cheerleaders, Tora follows a number of ‘cheerlebrities’ on social media. Having seen a number of her favourite cheerleaders attend Camp Woodward in the past, Tora decided to attend the camp this year.

The Training
As part of the camp, Tora was put into a group with other athletes of a similar age. They took part in mandatory practise in the morning where three coaches were assigned to each group, with each group rotating around the six different stations. The stations were: the rod; the trampolines; the blue floor (drill floor); the black floor (skills floor); the tumble/fast track and the dance floor which was in the barn gym. Athletes knew when it was time to rotate when someone yelled “Wood” with everyone shouting back “Ward”! Open gyms took place in the afternoon but the athletes had the option to attend these sessions – or take part in a fun activity instead! Although the fun activities seem very tempting, Tora advises to make the most of the open gyms and not to leave it until the end of the week to squeeze in extra practises!

The whole experience of Camp Woodward is very rewarding. Tora took part in an open gym and was awarded a sticker from the coaches in recognition of her hard work. These stickers are few and far between; so it is an amazing achievement for Tora to have received one. Her hard work and determination throughout the duration of the camp has enabled Tora to perfect her roundoff to speed up her tumble passes and allow more skills to be added to her passes. What’s more is that Tora got over a very troublesome mental block of her back handspring series with the help of some of the experienced coaches.

Fun Activities
While Tora was at Camp Woodward, she took part in a number of fun activities; including horse riding and a dance competition. Throughout the week, teams worked on a routine which they performed at a dance-off at the end of the week. Unfortunately Tora’s team, named Puma, didn’t win but they sure gave it their best shot.

Through training, fun activities and sleeping in a cabin within 15 other athletes (plus a counsellor), Camp Woodward is a fantastic opportunity to have fun, learn new skills and most importantly; make new friends. Plus a bonfire and s’mores night – what more could you want?!