Sport and Leisure
Lara will compete in America in 2010
Cheerleading comes to Somerset
Somerset's Lara Buck wants you to get your pom poms out and get fit - cheerleading style.
When you think of cheerleading, American sports like basketball and baseball pop into your head - a far cry from rural Somerset.
But 21-year-old Lara Buck from Chewton Mendip is trying to change all that by starting cheerleading lessons in Wells.
And it seems the sport already has a following with children as her sessions are fully booked and there is a waiting list.
"It’s loads of fun, and there’s not always such a pressure on having to be sporty and you get to hang out with your friends and to listen to cool music and get cool outfits," said Lara.
The girls from All Hallow School in West Cranmore agree as well, saying although they've never done cheerleading before, they wanted to give it a go as it looks "really exciting in films".
Although they have only had a couple of sessions, the girls are already doing difficult tricks like throwing one of them into the air; although they did say this was the hardest move as it is "hard to balance people because their feet are different sizes".
"All Hallows is the best"
Lara started cheerleading when she was 18 at university.
"I joined because I drank too much and ate to much and I needed to lose weight," she said. "I’d encourage anyone to get out there and try it. It’s a great way to make friends and keep fit."
Lara has been cheerleading for 3 years
After winning awards with her university team including first place at the national championships, Lara came home and set-up the group.
"I got back home during the summer holidays and I needed to lose some weight and there weren’t any classes so I thought I’d better set one up. I’ve got quite a long waiting list now just because little girls love to dance and cheer and stuff so I guess it’s natural that they’d like it."
Lara now wants to expand the group to all over Somerset. And, she says it really is a sport for everyone to enjoy.
"I started when I was 18 so you're never too old. I think there’s a place for everyone in the team.
The girls have only just started
"Before I joined the squad I had never done gymnastics before. And that’s the good thing about it, because in a team there’ll be people who are really good at it so they’ll help the ones who aren’t so it really helps to create a team atmosphere.
"The people who don’t have as much balance won’t be thrown into the air, people who are good at gymnastics will do that but people who aren’t like myself, you’re be doing the dancing instead but obviously a good sense of rhythm is useful."
So what's next? In 2010 Lara is going to compete in the United States which she is extremely excited about having recently met some American coaches but first she has to complete her PGCE so that she can teach primary school children.
BBC Somerset's Matt Botten went along to one of the girls' practise sessions at All Hallows School where he learnt a unique move which you can learn now.
And remember, in cheerleading you are judged on your sharpness and how you use the music.
"One of the huge factors is your cheeriness so you have to smile and look like you’re having fun the whole way through," said Lara.
First of all, you need to stand with your feet together, arms by your sides and with a smile on your face.
Step 1: Clap your arms together in front of you with your elbows touching.
Step 3: Bend your knees and then jump. It’s called a toe touch.
And don't forget the chant:
"From East to West, All Hallows is the Best.
We’re going to B E A T beat them, we’re going to B U S T bust them, we’re going to beat them, bust them, that’s our custom,
Gooooo All Hallows!"
last updated: 21/09/2008 at 13:43
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