The University of Regina's cheerleading team continues its national domination. For the second time in three years, it's won the Canadian title, after a second-place finish last year.
The U of R won the gold medal in the Small Co-ed Team Division at the Canadian University National Cheerleading Championships held in December in Brampton, Ontario, just outside Toronto. As well, the U of R cheerleading team captured the gold medal in the group stunt division - a first for the U of R - and a silver medal in the female tumbling competition.
"This was quite an accomplishment considering 16 of the 24 athletes who competed are first-year students," says John Papandreos, coordinator of Recreational Services in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. "This is another proud moment for the University of Regina."
The championship banner and trophy will be on display at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport.
Coach Thomas Rath says the difference this year was more practice. After a second-place finish in 2009, he didn't want to settle for runner-up again this time. "I bumped up our practice a bit, so we headed to the nationals better prepared. I think we were the most prepared we've ever been."
During the three months leading up to the national championships, the team practiced three times a week, for a total of eight hours each week - an increase of about three hours a week from the previous year.
That extra practice paid off in the form of a national championship.
Rath says the national title is attracting the attention from people at other universities. "We're winning over teams from other universities. One person watching us warm up said ‘Wow, you guys have become really good.' We're getting noticed by other schools, and they're making the time to watch our routines."
Now that the cheerleading team has won the Canadian title, members are getting ready to head off to open competitions in the United States in February - one in Atlanta, Georgia, and another in Anaheim, California.
To watch videos of the cheerleading competition, please go to