Grace Hegh has shown her potential as a cheerleading coach as her Blackout Cheer NZ squad had a successful showing at the Cheerbrandz Olympia Competition in Auckland.
She took two teams from the gym down to Auckland and took the top two spots in the Level 1-3 Individual Division as Tarshana Keogh beat out Paige Thornton.
Hegh said it was an incredible experience taking on her debut coaching competition.
"As you can imagine it was pretty exciting but also incredibly nerve-wracking," she said.
"I didn't want to be the gym that everyone laughed at and let my athletes down, especially as they have all been training so hard.
"I'm totally blown away, humbled and proud. But the show must go on and we are back hard at work putting more difficulty into their routines for the next competition."
The efforts off Keogh and Thornton were a major achievement. Keogh had never competed before, only picking up the sport in January.
She has progressed rapidly, moving from level one to three and knocking on the door of level four.
Thornton, meanwhile, had a great showing and performed well despite being a level two athlete.
"Paige has worked so hard that she made up for the lack of tumble skills by being incredibly clean, sharp and sassy throughout her routine," Hegh said.
Keogh then joined Jessica Kalkhoven to take home the gold medal in the Level 1-3 Duo Division.
On the team front, Blackout Cheer had two teams competing in Black Magic and Black Diamonds. Much to the delight of Hegh, both sides hit a "Zero" routine which is a perfect score.
Hegh was shocked at how well the teams performed.
"I couldn't believe it," she said.
"When we were watching the re-run of their performance afterwards, you can see the back of me in the video jumping up and down waving my arms around just like the coaches in America that mum and I have always laughed at!
"I was literally brought to tears at how hard these athletes had worked and how both teams had hit zero.
"We may not have won in terms of medals but we could not have asked for more from the teams - they both hit perfect routines and it doesn't get any better than that."