CARMEL and Co cheer squads achieved some outstanding results at the 2014 Aussie Gold International Cheer and Dance Championships at the Gold Coast Convention Centre this month.
The competition hosted more than 1000 competitors from all over Australia, as well as international teams from Thailand and New Zealand, with the Shellharbour-based cheer squads excelling across a range of events and levels.
In the cheer category (which involves flyers being tossed into the air and caught by "bases"), the Infinity cheer squad came first in the level 3 senior cheer division, while Diamonds won the level 3 open cheer.
Level 1 junior cheer squad the Dolphins took out third place in the most hotly contested division against 18 other teams.
In the cheer solos (one cheerleader performing a variety of forwards, backwards and static tumbling), Miranda Blades took first place in junior solo, Gabby Hussey took second in senior, with Miki McDonnell third in the open division.
In the partner stunt (one base and one flyer only), Chloe Temminck and Kaydin Harrison took second in level 2 junior, Robert Fassone and Kaitlin Lloyd were first level 2 senior, while Miranda Blades and Zac Paplauskas were first in level 3 junior.
In group stunt (small group of one flyer and several bases) Chicapow were second in level 2, with the Tornadoes second in level 3.
In dance doubles, Jaelen Harrison and Brooke Grootemaat took out second place.
"It was a huge event, and we're thrilled with the results," coach Carmel Blades said.
"We've always been a strong tumbling club with a lot of gymnasts switching to cheer, but our stunt work has really improved."
The squads then attended a clinic with coaching staff from some of the most highly regarded United States cheer programs, such as the University of Hawaii.
"These guys are widely acknowledged as the best in the world - all of the kids had a blast," Blades said.