Atlanta cheerleaders return as national champions

- An Atlanta team is returning this week as national champions after a weekend in Orlando.

The Arthur Blank YMCA Xtreme AllStar Cheer teams are celebrating their 2017 championship titles. They just returned from the FCC National Championship competition that took place over the weekend in Orlando.

“According to Coach Karyl, "This program was initially built to develop the potential of young leaders. However, over the last couple of years, it has grown to be so much more. Unlike many other competitive programs, the YMCA Xtreme Allstars focuses primarily on leadership development, belonging, family, and community,” Coach Karyl Davis wrote in a statement sent to FOX 5 News. “We compete as a program, we laugh and cry as a program, and we serve as a program. No team is uplifted more than the others. Cheerleading is what we do, but certainly not who we are.”

The program has grown significantly over the past two years from 12 to 60 participants.

“Winning is great, but developing future global leaders is even greater. Putting the YMCA principles into action, we have become more intentional about how we develop our Y-leaders. This includes providing the support and training our champions need to one day lead a team of their own. Some as early as the age of 13 as a junior coach in training,” Coach Davis continued.

Half of the program receives assistance from an annual YMCA campaign known as the Why it Matters Campaign which never turn away a child because of their inability to pay.

“They are my extended family and the amount of support we receive is endless. Not too many people are able to implement a program that combines their childhood passion (cheerleading) and current passion (the development of young leaders) to build such an awesome empire,” wrote Coach Davis.

The program competes on three different youth levels and has received several titles to include the 2016 FCC National Champions, 2017 FCC National Champions and over 20 1st place titles and 10 grand champion titles.

To learn more visit ymcaatlanta.org/youth-programs.

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