Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Essex Stars hoping for some cheer
7:50am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
A CHEERLEADING squad is fighting to open its own specialist training school, despite being knocked back by the council three times.
Essex Stars applied for permission to change the use of an industrial building on Shoebury Avenue, Shoebury from ‘storage and distribution’ to a ‘cheerleading training centre’ in July this year, and are waiting for a decision to be made in November.
The team currently train inside a hall at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre at Garons Park, but the centre is no longer suitable for the squad. Rachel Blatch, who runs Essex Stars, said: “We do like training at Garons, but we’ve expanded so much now and want to continue.
“We run classes seven days a week, but we’ve noticed that the halls are becoming extremely busy, especially because we often run alongside badminton, trampolining and other sports.
“If there’s a function taking place it takes priority, so we have to either find an alternative venue or train outside, which isn’t ideal, especially when we’re training for competitions.”
Essex Stars started in August 2009 with four girls, and now we have eight squads, seven of which compete, with approximately 12- 20 people in each squad.
Rachel said: “Our parents are 100 per cent behind us. We’ve been trying to find a venue for two years now, and a lot of parents have had children in our squads for about four years.”
“We’ve been knocked back three times now, it’s really frustrating and it’s cost us so much money.
We don’t get funding, because cheerleading isn’t classed as a sport, so we have to pay for everything ourselves. If we want to do competitions or buy new equipment we have to fundraise.”
Rachel has applied for a building on Temple Farm Industrial Estate in Southend twice, and was declined both times due to parking issues.
She then applied to the site on Shoebury Avenue earlier this year, but was rejected over parking concerns.
Rachel says moving outside of Southend isn’t an option, and would be inconvenient for the cheerleaders.
She said: ““I’m hoping that if they say yes we can hold a Christmas opening – it would be a big celebration for Essex Stars.”
Comments are closed on this article.