What an incredible journey the Cheer Sport Sharks has been for co-founders Ali Moffatt and Alana Potter! It all started over 10 years ago, with a dream, a vision, and most importantly, a passion for coaching & for the sport of competitive cheerleading in Cambridge. In the beginning, never did we dream that it would become what it is today.
Ali and Alana met in elementary school, and became friends in 1995 when they both cheered at their high school in Oakville, T.A. Blakelock. Both began coaching the Pilgrim Wood Dolphins elementary school team at the age of 15, and have been coaching cheerleading ever since. Their partnership is based on a strong friendship and a love for coaching.
IT STARTS WITH A DREAM…
The Cheer Sport Sharks was born in 2003, when Ali & Alana (A & A) joined forces, and relocated to start their cheerleading school in Cambridge, Ontario. Prior to 2003, A & A were both coaching cheerleading in schools, and running community clubs for competitive cheerleading in the cities where they attended university (Ali at WLU and Alana at U of G). At this time, both teams trained out of a local church basement, and were called the Waterloo Rays & the Guelph Stars. When the girls graduated from University, they decided that it was time to combine their efforts and start coaching together.
In the first year of the Cheer Sport Sharks, Ali and Alana were thrilled to have 35 athletes training on three teams, once a week at the Cambridge Kips Gymnastics Club. Every Sunday night, the Sharks would take over the gym club for a few hours, and quickly experienced growth. Unfortunately, the Kips could not accommodate this growth, and we knew that it was in the best interest of our program to take the plunge, and lease our very OWN gym. It was small (3000 sq ft), but we LOVED it. We were in our first gym for 2 years, where we grew to 250 athletes, and knew that once again, it was time to move. In 2007 we moved into our next gym, known as the ‘Tank’. It was 6,200 sq ft, and included a fully sprung floor and a tumble track. More importantly, it allowed us to offer more teams, and more opportunities for the hundreds of girls in our program. Cheer Sport continued to expand by offering programs in other cities, including Ancaster and Ottawa.
THEN YOU MAKE IT REAL…
The Tank & the Sea were busting at the seams, and A & A knew that in order for Cheer Sport to continue to grow and succeed, we needed a permanent home. After looking for over 18 months for a new home that could accommodate our 30 teams and 550 athletes, it became clear that no building existed in Cambridge. Our only option was to purchase land from the City of Cambridge, go through the re-zoning process, and begin to custom design our perfect cheerleading gym in Southwestern Ontario. The newly constructed Shark Tank is 18,000 sq ft, and is Canada’s largest, free standing cheerleading gym. It’s the perfect place for our athletes to work hard, together, to make their dreams real, just as A & A have for years.
Sharks migrate in the wild and Cheer Sport Sharks is no different. Home for the Sharks also include our gyms in Ancaster, Ottawa and the newest location in Milton, which opened the start of the 2016-2017 season. The Sea, in Ottawa, outgrew its old home and moved into a bigger gym in 2016 with lots of room to keep growing.
Cheer Sport Sharks continues to be a leader in the cheerleading world and is dedicated to providing a fun and safe environment for all our athletes to grow and learn, both as athletes and as young adults.
NOW, BOW TO THE TEAL
Our gyms have been so successful over the years, bringing home counting National and International championships. We are proud of the hard work our teams put in each season and know that Cheer Sport Sharks will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.
Cheer Sport Sharks Highlights:
- 2014 and 2015 World Champions – Great White Sharks
- 2016 Bronze Medalists at Worlds – Great White Sharks
- Home of the White Cheek Sharks – Canada’s only Youth 5 team
- At the 2016 World Championship, the Grey Reef Sharks were the only team from Ontario in their division to make it to Finals. They finished 6th in the World in 2016
- Home of nine 2016 National Champion teams