Paraparaumu College student Sacha Hibberd, 16, has been named in the New Zealand cheerleading team to compete at the Cheerleading World Championships in Florida next year.

New Zealand is sending three teams to the world championships, a junior team, an all girl elite team and a coed elite team.

Sending in an audition tape and attending a trial in Auckland, Sacha found out she had been selected for the New Zealand elite coed team.

The selection means a move to the big smoke for Sacha so she can train with the team.


With training having already started, Sacha will train on her own at Kāpiti's All Star Victory gym and travel to Auckland for weekend sessions until the end of the school term.

Sacha Hibberd in action.
Sacha Hibberd in action.

Originally planning to move at the end of the school year after exams, the coaches have requested Sacha join them sooner, meaning she will move up to Auckland at the end of term three.

Once there she will board with a teammate and attend three team training sessions per week until the world championships in April.

"I was so excited when I found out.

"I cried — I was so happy.

"I was really excited because I didn't think I'd done very well at the trials and this is something I've been working towards for five years.

"I'm really looking forward to representing the country and wear the uniform saying New Zealand on it — that's going to be so cool.

"It's something I've really wanted to do, I'm excited that I'm finally getting my chance to do it."


Starting out nine years ago after her gymnastics coach suggested she try cheerleading, Sacha has been cheering from All Star Victory in Paraparaumu for nine years.

"All my life I've been a flyer as I've always been small.

"However this year there are more people in the team that are smaller so I'm a base.

"I prefer being a flyer because you can perform more when you're in the air and I'm also more used to it."

Performing at the world championships will include a two and a half minute routine to music with a mix of tumbling, stunting and dancing along with a 45 second chant.

With her brother, Jack Hibberd, making the New Zealand team in 2016, getting involved after seeing Sacha enjoying it, Sacha is excited to perform to a big audience in Florida.

"Going to Florida will be awesome because I've never been to America before.

"I'm really excited to step out on stage and see the big crowd because I've never performed in front of that many people before.

"Just representing New Zealand is going to be amazing."