By EMMA DICKINS.

After being inspired by her older sister to take up cheerleading three years ago, 14-year-old Caitlin Waters from Rangitoto College was this year’s youngest cheerleader at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships in America. And for the second year running, Team NZ dominated.

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With her sister also being in Team New Zealand, helping to win the championships last year, Caitlin had a hard act to follow. But Caitlin, who holds the position as a ‘flyer’, managed to help her squad retain the title of World Champions.

Of course, it isn’t all just glitz and glam; Caitlin’s typical week includes two three-hour training sessions, a four-hour Team NZ session and sometimes private training too.

These sessions include hours of stunts, jumps and tumble training. All that hard work paid off when Caitlin was selected for the team to fly over to America.

She describes the experience in the USA as “great, being around so may amazing teams, including my favourite team, Cheer Athletics Wild Cats’. [I’ve] never had so much during a full out!”.

IMG_1637 (2)Aside from her busy life as a cheerleader, Caitlin likes to hang with friends, practise tumbles on the grass, and trampoline. She also used to play netball and participate in swimming squads, however due to cheerleading commitments she has had to prioritise, choosing cheerleading, which is one of her greatest passions.

The biggest challenge, she says, is getting her tumble to look perfect. In order to stay in condition and prevent injury, she stretches lots prior to training, and ensures that she maintains her fitness level.

Caitlin believes that anyone who loves a challenge and likes the idea of dancing, tumbling and doing stunt work, would make a fantastic cheerleader.

This talented young girl aims to be the best she can in cheerleading, and hopes to accomplish the title of Double World Champion.

Want to be involved in cheerleading? Check out www.allstarcheerleaders.co.nz; they have multiple gyms throughout the country – Caitlin encourages anyone to give it a go!

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