Volunteers offer program for special needs cheerleaders - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Volunteers offer program for special needs cheerleaders

Posted: Updated:
A special needs cheerleading program, called the Sparkles Cheering Squad, is getting the chance to feel just like everyone else, and all while earning medals. A special needs cheerleading program, called the Sparkles Cheering Squad, is getting the chance to feel just like everyone else, and all while earning medals.
AUBURN, Ga. -

In Barrow County, there's something to cheer about! A special needs cheerleading program, called the Sparkles Cheering Squad, is getting the chance to feel just like everyone else, and all while earning medals.

Any cheerleader may tell you that what they do takes focus and talent. In addition to the skill and enthusiasm, the special needs cheerleaders face some challenges.

"Megan is going to be 21 and she has severe epilepsy, developmental delay and intermittent explosive disorder," Megan's mother, Sherri Dickens.

On the days Megan comes to the Extreme Tumbling Training Center in Auburn, she's got spirit. Megan and other girls are part of the Sparkles Cheering Squad. They're coached by former Falcons cheerleader Tiffany Watt and competitive cheering coach Christina Shuster.

"The same way that we would teach our regular all-star team, we teach them the same exact way: Running, tumbling, openings, stunts, the whole nine yards," said Schuster

More than 50 volunteers offer their time and expertise to help the girls learn routines that they perform in competitions.

"They just love performing and when we go on stage, because they compete on stage, lights, camera, action, the full deal when it's competition time, and they really just love smiling on stage," said Watt

The girls' parents love the fact that their children are getting great exercise and able to socialize. Cyndi White, mother of 13-year-old Emily, says her daughter loves the program.

"I'm just so proud of her and I'm so thrilled that she gets to showcase what she's really good at. And that people get to see how more alike other kids she is than how different she is. I just beam from ear to ear," said White.

Smiling is all anyone can do when watching them as they cheer their hearts out.

The Sparkles Cheering Squad is completely free of charge, and that includes all their uniforms and competition entrance fees. They want more members of the squad, and they're having an open house on August 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants of all ages and abilities are welcome.

More Information:

The Extreme Tumbling Training Center will host an Open House for its Special Needs Cheerleading Program on August 26, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at 1525 University Dr., in Auburn. The non-profit program is free. New participants of any age are always welcome. For more information, call 770-680-5231 and leave a message for Christina Schuster, and specify interest in special needs cheerleading.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Sandy Springs Park presents "Touching" art display

    Sandy Springs Park presents "Touching" art display

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:57 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:57:44 GMT
    For many area students and teachers, school starts next week.  So this week on Good Day Atlanta, we're checking out "cool" spots to
    For many area students and teachers, school starts next week. So this week on Good Day Atlanta, we're checking out "cool" spots to enjoy those last few days of summer.
  • Pet 'matchmaking' service increases adoptions

    Pet 'matchmaking' service increases adoptions

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:13 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:13:37 GMT
    You've probably heard of a match-making service that helps people find their soul mates.But you may not know that there's a nonprofit in Atlanta that offers a similar service....for people to find....the perfect pet.
    You've probably heard of a match-making service that helps people find their soul mates.But you may not know that there's a nonprofit in Atlanta that offers a similar service....for people to find....the perfect pet.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices