With hopes of cheerleading becoming an Olympic sport in 2024, those involved in the sport locally are preparing for its popularity to increase in the city.
Tauranga cheer club, the Bay Twisters, will be moving into new premises this year - a building in Maleme St with high ceilings and enough space for a fully sprung floor and a tumble track - so cheer athletes have suitable training facilities to become better in their code.
Rebecca Grigson says the new facility, housing everything under one roof, will be an asset to the cheer club.
"The girls will really be able to get more skills on their tumble and things like that with us being at that premises," Grigson says.
"We're hoping for cheerleading to be at the 2024 Olympics. It's one of the fastest growing sports in New Zealand.
"We offer sports massage as well as tumbling, they also do boys only tumbling ... just tumbling skills to try to entice more boys into the sport, but also a cheer and dance shop as well, which will be great to have everything under one roof for the kids ... especially the sports massage," Grigson says.
Before they move in, however, Bay Twisters will be holding their annual try outs for their 2020 competitive teams in the building this weekend. Grigson says she recommends those wanting to be competitive be no younger than 4, but other than that there is no limit to age or ability.
"If people want to be part of the Bay Twisters 2020 teams and compete next year then they'll need to come along to the trials.
"It doesn't matter whether you have no experience or you have lots of experience in cheer or dance or acro. You'll come along for your session, you'll get taught and shown certain things, so things like jump and a bit of tumbling ... from your basic forward rolls and cartwheels to a little bit more advanced if we have advanced people come along on the day, and then we'll just be assessing what teams we would recommend putting them into as well as the age groups."
She is expecting a lot of new recruits, which is why the tryouts have three hours allocated for the beginners session, compared to the two for those in higher levels.
More than 1500 cheerleaders to compete at Battle in the Bay
'Ed's life was monumental': Otumoetai College teacher farewelled
She says kids love cheerleading because of the variety involved
"I think kids love it so much because it involves gymnastics, dance, tumbling. They learn to stunt, they do jumps and it's a mixture of everything. When they go out on the dance floor and learn their choreography it's a 2-1/2 minute routine which is pretty full on and there are lots of things going on which is pretty exciting. Kids love being part of a team sport and they also make long term friendships."
Once they start getting ready for competitions next year, Grigson says the cheer athletes will have plenty to work on.
"They'll get a mixture of conditioning, flexibility, strengthening and tumbling skills that they will learn.
"We've got two choreographers coming in from overseas that will teach them choreography and then they will be practising throughout the year until the first competition which is on June 21 next year in New Zealand."
Bay Twisters 2020 tryouts:
Saturday, November 16 at 65a Maleme St, Greerton.
New recruits and level 1 athletes: 9am-12pm.
Level 2 athletes: 12-2pm.
Level 3 and up athletes: 3-5pm.
Athletes are expected to arrive 30 minutes early for registration.
Callbacks will be made for Sunday, November 17, if needed.
Another trial will be held in February for anyone unable to attend this weekend.