Winning a National Competition is a cheerleader's every dream, and takes endless blood, sweat and tears to achieve. Winning a National Championship title after only 3 months of a team being together, is almost unheard of - especially when you are up against 14 other teams from all over the country of which a number of incredibly solid teams with years of experience behind them.
However this year, Zoo Fever did something that was against all odds. Our brand new competitive team (made up of 4 previous members and 8 total newbies to cheer), not only won their division for National Champions (Small Senior Pom), but our 'Monsters' routine was awarded "Highest Pom Score of the Day", was given a bid to the US Finals and awarded Grand Champions of the entire dance competition with a staggering 284 points.
Words connot express how flabberghasted we were with the result. Yes, we have been training extremely hard knowing we had a team with fantastic potential. Yes, we admired and followed by example by striving to be the best, inspired by the incredible teams we knew we were up against, who gave some amazing performances on the day: Reading Superstars, Leeds Dynamite, CheeForce 10, Sparks Blaze and BNU Swans all gave amazing performances.
However, as BCA only announce top 3 teams and there were 14 teams in the division (with previously mentioned teams all performing amazing routines on the day) - we had lost all hope of a placement when 3rd and 2nd place were announced, thinking one of the others had placed instead.
The sheer shock of being announced National Champions was only trumped by the utter comedy of the rest of the awards: we were celebrating and screeching so much we were completely unaware that we were being called on stage a furher 3 times to collect our other awards...!! We just hope someone filmed the award ceremony, as we would love to see the comedy moments (if someone has - please let us know!!).
For coach Jessica Zoo, the timing could have not been more perfect: it was exactly her 10 year 'cheeriversary' in the same location of her very first competition with the RHUL 'Tommy Girls' (now Tomcats) at the 2004 BCA Nationals in Telford.
But all the winnings were just the cherry on the cake of a perfect weekend: as coaches, we can truly say that our Zoo Monsters ladies have been an absolute DREAM to work with. Never have we had a team of such dedicated, hard-working and positive ladies. The result was not just a reflection of their skills, but their abilty to learn, strive for perfection and their humility in being coached. The true prize for us is not the trophy (that is for our girls). Our true prize is having the priviledge to coach this wonderful team, making our jobs pure joy.
A HUGE thanks to the BCA staff for the most amazing competition we have ever been to. We were saying this even before the award ceremony: the atmosphere was buzzing, there was such incredible sportsmanship and support between all teams, timing was impeccable, TV sceens, photography, concessions, presenting, fun & dancing before awards - everything was just incredible and you have given our girls memories they will cherish forever.
A big shout-out to all the other teams, who have inspired us and were the reason we pushed ourselves so hard. Thank you for making us want to strive higher, it was an honour to compete against you all.
Now until next time... we are hungry for more!!
JOIN US ON FRIDAY 25th April in London for our DISPLAY STUNT TEAM TRYOUTS (for paid events & performances).