Sam Thomas, Summer Company Success Story
- Born and raised in Collingwood.
- Started cheerleading in grade 11 at Jean Vanier C.H.S., where I acted as team captain for 2 years. I also returned to Vanier to coach the team after I graduated.
- Attended York University for my undergraduate degree (Honors B.A. major in English lit, minor in Canadian history)
- Member of the York University competitive cheerleading team for 4 years. In my final year of university, I cheered for both York and for Ultimate Canadian Cheer’s open level 6 all star team. That was also the year that I opened CheerCore for its first season, so I was quite a busy girl!
- During CheerCore’s second year of operation, I was also a member of the Ultimate Canadian Cheer Jags, which was their level 5 Worlds team. I competed at The Cheerleading Worlds in 2011 where my team placed 4th in the World; the highest placing international team in our division.
- Currently, CheerCore is in its 4th year of operation and although I have had to stop competing, I am heavily involved in the cheer industry. In addition to my duties as coach and gym owner at CheerCore, I also work with Spring Tumbling as an instructor and choreographer and for Twist: Canada’s Cheerleading Magazine where I work in public relations and social media.
Late in my 3rd year of University, I completed an application for a government grant through the Summer Company program. Thankfully, I was approved and was able to run a cheerleading camp in the Town of Collingwood during the summer of 2009.
I had anticipated an enrollment of approximately 20 athletes… When I registered 40+ athletes and saw their progress throughout the summer, I knew that I had to keep the program running. Since that summer, CheerCore has grown to a tight-knit family of nearly 100 athletes. We have 79 athletes enrolled in our competitive programs, where we have teams in levels 1, 2, 3, and 4.2. We also hold recreational classes for athletes who want to try the sport, but aren’t quite ready to make the full commitment required of a competitive team member. To date, our teams have acquired several Provincial and National titles, have competed in the USA twice, and have really started to build a name for the gym within the Canadian cheerleading industry. Recently, our advanced teams traveled to UCA Internationals in Orlando, Florida and were the only Canadian teams to place in the top 3 of their divisions.
Looking to the future, we hope to hire more coaches so that we can offer more programs to suit athletes of all ages and skill levels. One day, we would like to get our athletes’ tumbling skills up to level 5 so that we could compete to earn a bid to attend The Cheerleading Worlds. Ultimately, taking a senior aged team (10-18) to Worlds would be a huge achievement for us and it is a goal that we are continually working towards!
Valentine Show Case Video
CheerCore in Action