An established and growing All-Star cheering center in Avon Lake is taking the next step by adding “Destiny,” an adapted cheerleading program for children and young adults with disabilities.
Infinity Athletics (IA), which recently made the move from Pin Oak Parkway to a larger facility in the city’s old theater building in Artstown Plaza on Lake Road, is hoping to introduce the new team in October.
Each cheering member on the new Destiny squad will be paired with a member one of IA’s Level 2 – 5 All-Star teams, Unity, Eternity, Harmony, Virtue, or Integrity.
Other programs under the United States All-Star Cheerleading Federation (USASF) have implemented adapted cheerleading.
“This is for anyone with any type of cognitive delays, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome,” Stephen Good, a part-owner and program director for the center, which operate under the USASF.
The age range is 8 through adult, although Good said they would consider members as young as 6 or 7.
The center has seen a surge in membership in the past few years and now has more than 500 students participating in tumbling, All-Star cheerleading (which includes stunts) and high school cheerleading.
The adapted cheerleading program is one way the center is giving back.
“There is no charge for the program; it’s volunteer based,” Good said. “The communities have been so good to us and we want to give back to others and help empower them.”
There is no limit to the number of participants that can join the Destiny team and Good said most of the center’s staff of 16 have offered to volunteer with the program. Good said as long as a participant has medical clearance to join, they will be welcome.
“We’ll practice once a week and probably do 2-3 competitions,” he said. Asked about the new team name, Good added, "Everyone is destined for greatness."
Destiny will compete as an exhibition team and IA expects that, like the Level 2-5 competitors, will come from all over greater Cleveland and beyond.
“We have people that travel 40 minutes to the center,” Good said.
The center works with professional choreographers, including Robin Ewest and Mark Rider, and routines will be based on the ability of the team. Routines average two to five minutes each.
Destiny will likely perform at several Ohio competitions, such as the Great Lakes Cheer Competition (GLCC) in Akron and one in Canton. Practices will be held once a week.
Plans are for Destiny to be formed by October with a meeting in late September to finalize plans.
Potential members will first have a chance to see the facility.
“They can meet the coaches, see the facility and meet the family we have here,” Good said.
Anyone interesting in joining Destiny, can contact Good at Stephen@iacheer.com or by calling the center at 440-933-4422.