RIVERTON, Utah – A team of cheerleaders at a Riverton school are trying to raise funds to get to nationals, and the squad is composed of some special athletes.
The Angels of Elite Academy are a team of cheerleaders with special needs. Coach Morgan Brian formed the squad after seeing a team with special needs compete several years ago.
“So we saw them and I talked to my boss, and she said that’s fine, but you’re going to have to do it--so I kind of took it into my own hands and recruited people and got it started and going,” Brian said.
Four years later, the squad has veteran members and some new additions.
“Well I love cheer, it’s been like my favorite thing ever since I've been out of high school,” Cheerleader Jazzy Holman said.
Jazzy started cheering after she graduated high school. At 22, she said she wants to cheer forever.
“It’s really fun and I'm just excited to keep on doing this for the rest of my life and it’s something I want to do when I grow up,” Jazzy said.
Lauren Ramsby is also on the squad, and she said cheer is big part of her life.
“I'm going to be a cheerleader teacher,” she said.
The team started as a place to give people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn cheer.
“I like cheerleading because it helps me to get moving,” Lauren said.
Pam Holman is a parent of one of the members of the squad, and she said she is grateful for the team.
“I think it's good for the community to see them and see how much alike they are with typical children, and, you know, how much they are capable of,” she said.
Lauren said the thing they love most is competing.
“I'm looking forward to going to competition,” she said.
“It’s really awesome because a lot of these girls will go to competition and see their friends competing with them so it's like they're on a normal cheer team,” Brian said.
The Angels are working on one dance this season for nationals, and the team is raising funds to make the trip.
“It will be in Anaheim, California, so if they could just get out there and see teams from other states that could be really awesome for them,” Brian said.
The team needs to raise $25,000 for the trip. Visit their GoFundMe page for more information or to donate.