19 December, 2023
Gold medal wins for cheerleading
With a personality just as bouncy as her cheerleading, Caboolture local Matilda Karipa and her All-Star cheerleading team, The Commanders, won gold in all five of their big cheer competitions this year.
From State title to National and Majors, the 7-year-old and her teammates took home medal after medal in the under 12 Novice Youth Division.
This was Matilda’s first year cheering competitively, having only done the semi-competitive Cheer Sport category for the previous two years.
Thinking Cheer Sport became too easy, she committed to increasing her practice and discipline, going from practicing once a week to three days and learning harder tricks.
“At the beginning it was a bit hard because it was much stricter and more disciplined compared to Cheer Sport, and I want to be the best and better, so I pressure myself a lot to get the new tricks right,” she said with help from her mother.
“I have them now and I’m better now and am excited to learn the new tricks for next year.”
Although it was her first time taking part in major cheer competitions, Matilda said she wasn’t nervous about performing in front of the big audience, rather being excited about the opportunity.
The only time Matilda put on an extra show was when she was able to see her parents in the crowd, due to the venue having an unusual setup.
Being only 7 years old, Matilda wasn’t meant to be with her current teammates as they are all 9- to 12-yearolds, but the Cheer FX Gym saw her passion and potential, and pushed her to try out for the older girls’ team.
This resulted in her being the smallest of her team, which comes with its advantages since she is a flyer and always the top of the pyramid: her favourite stunts to do.
“When I’m not practicing or horse riding, I’m still doing cheer stuff at home like jump on the trampoline and working on my handsprings or getting the mat and practicing more,” Matilda enthusiastically explained.
Matilda got into cheerleading after getting tired of doing gymnastics and looking for another sport to transition to.
Her dance academy offered cheerleading classes and her passion grew from there, resulting in her even practicing and competing with a broken arm due to an unrelated injury.
She hopes to someday compete in America and continue practicing her sport.
Congratulations to Matilda and The Commanders for their cheer success this year!