3Degreez Cheerleaders do not believe in limitations and the team’s spectacular portfolio of achievements shows that they live by their motto. With interest in cheerleading skyrocketing in recent years, 3Degreez keep adding more classes to their already hectic timetable and have recently become a Community Interest Company, 3Degreez Allstarz CIC. FitNet interviewed the coaches Ruth Jones, 28, Katie Bowcott-Hall, 32 and Clare Louise, 28, who are all mums of small children, to find out how they do it all and what they are up to next.
Girls, you have known each other and coached 3Degreez Cheerleaders for a while now. How did it all start for you?
Katie: I started cheerleading aged 11 with Hereford Bullz Cheerleading Team, linked to Hereford United at the time. I became a junior coach whilst there.
Ruth: I started at Bath Spa University, it was the coolest student team to get involved in. I was doing my dance degree so it felt like the perfect activity to get into.
Katie: Seven years ago I found Ruth through a Google search after I got wind there was someone in Hereford running School Cheer. After an email conversation we met to discuss our dreams of building 3Degreez and within a month started our first two teams.
Clare Louise: I joined the Cheerleading team at Bath and became Dance Captain of the team by year 2. A year later I joined the 3Degreez adult team and never left.
Pictured: 3Degreez Coaches Ruth, Katie and Clare Louise
How do you manage your teaching schedules with competitions and time away?
Katie: We try to stay organised by having set admin days, but 3Degreez takes up our whole lives so we often respond to emails late at night or early in the morning when on baby duties.
Have your little ones followed their mums into cheerleading?
Katie: Lili, my eldest is seven, and lives and breathes cheer. She is on two competition teams this new season.
Ruth: My daughter Zara and Katie’s Laci take part in our Tots’ Cheer classes, they both love it.
Clare Louise: My son Ethan has also started classes and he loves all the music and soft play.
What does it take for a new starter to become a competitor?
Katie: They start as a recreational cheerleader, learning all the positions and techniques required to be in a competition team. Every July we hold team placements where we watch cheerleaders wishing to be in a competition team and select for the correct age groups suitable for them.
What does a typical training session contain?
Ruth: Warm up, training body positions and conditioning drills. Stretches, motions and dance phrases. Stunt training in teams, building stunt sections for routines. Then tumbles drills and skills, developing tumbles and creating tumble phases for routines.
How do you choose music for your routines?
Katie: It has to have a strong 8-count beat, and a good speed for routines. Mostly it’s music we like and get a buzz from, often remixes of chart music popular at the time.
Do you have favourite classes?
Katie: Level 2 Destruction. Working with athletes who have worked very hard on their skills to be in a level 2 senior team is a great achievement for me as a coach. I love pushing the boundaries with this team, and watching them perform at competitions is fierce and exciting.
Ruth: Tiny Level 0 Dewdropz. I love working with the little ones, their enthusiasm to learn and the happiness they bring each week are so nice. There is something very special about watching the youngest members of the school progress from basics and move up through the teams. It is very exciting to be part of this process.
Clare Louise: Bend & Flex, our tumble and flexibility programme. It’s fantastic having a focused class where the athletes can develop their skills over the season. Watching newcomers start off with a forward roll, and develop through to walkovers and back hand-springers is exciting and inspiring. I have a passion for tumbles and flexibility so this programme is my ideal to coach.
Can you tell me more about your new classes?
Ruth: This September we are adding a North Hereford location, training at the Salvation Army Hall on Tuesdays. These are Recreational Classes, from age three to Adult CheerFit.
Katie: Another new class is starting on Saturdays, for age two Parent & Tots class, through to 16 years old, including a brand new Pom Dance class.
Clare Louise: Our Friday daytime option will include our current Dudez & Daisiez as well as an open Soft Play and our newest tot class Discovererz, focusing on the gymnastics side of cheer for ages two to four.
What are your plans for the future?
Katie: We want to continue increasing our REC programme, building interest in our competition teams for September 2020. Also our Bend & Flex tumbling programme and a new SEN (Special Educational Needs) Cheer Team.
Lastly, where will you be competing next?
Ruth: We have a competition coming up in Stoke-on-Trent in December.
Wishing you the best of luck with the competition and your future plans!
Facebook: 3DegreezCheerleaders Hereford
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.