McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


June 1, 2006

Boys and Girls Club offer tumbling and cheer

By Josh Mabray

Asst. Sports Editor

The Boys and Girls Club are taking it to the matresses this summer by offering tumbling and cheer camps for anyone aged 5 and up.

McAlester cheer and tumbling coach Ashlee Shumway and former OU pom squad member Jessica Carswell are teaming up to teach advanced, intermediate, basic and kinder classes to all with a desire to perspire.

“These girls will have the same opportunity that I had. They didn’t have anything for 7 years,” says Shumway. No where else has the kind of equipment we’re going to have. The equipment we have is comparable to places in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.”

Some of the materials the children will be using include a tumble track, spring tumbling floor and a lot of mats for kinder age tumblers.

This recent enrichment to the Boys and Girls Club is compliments of the Puterbaugh Foundation, who donated $10,000 as a start-up grant, says Boys and Girls Club Director Lynn Edwards, who explains the dimensions of the equipment.

“We have a cheer floor 42’ by 42’ competition size, says Edwards.”

The resurrection of this once local spinning and spirited past-time is satisfying a seven year itch to rock and roll, but the basics are never far away to implement what exactly this skill can be good for.

“This will help with coordination and basic tumbling skills,” says Shumway. “It helps with other sports too. Football players take gymnastics and ballet.”

The skill is then fashioned for the teenage years.

“To teach technique that they can use later for pom and cheerleading,” says Edwards.

Of course the sound medical advice rests with its influence on the body.

“If kids use proper technique, it will greatly reduce injury later in life,” says Edwards.

The tumbling and cheerleading camps will be separated into four sessions; two for tumbling and two for cheerleading. The tumbling sessions will be June 12-23 and July 17-28 and will cost $30 a session.

The Cheerleading sessions will be June 26-27 for ages 5-7 and will cost $65. June 28-30 will be for ages 8-14 and will cost $75. Both cheer camps will begin at 9 a.m. and all participants must register and pre-pay by June 20. For any questions call the Boys and Girls Club of McAlester at 426-5144.

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