Special needs cheer team breaks boundaries and prepares for competition this weekend

Local News

The girls on the Ultimate Cheer Lubbock Perfection team have different special needs, and they are competing at the American Spirit Championships at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on Jan. 13 at 12:45 p.m.

Anna, Bryce and London make up the Perfection team. In their first season, they are learning more than cheer skills. 

“They have learned some new jumps, motions and tumbling,” Coach Brooke Zavala said. “But it is the confidence and the independence that has been so fun to see them grow.” 

This weekend will be their second time to compete in front of a big crowd and they cannot wait to show off their moves. 

Zavala said she coaches the girls just like every other cheerleader, but watching the special needs portion is always her favorite part of any competition.

“It is a feeling that you cannot describe, and I cry every time,” Zavala said. “It is so cool to watch everyone come together and cheer for them. They are standing up, cheering and it is the happiest thing on earth I swear.” 

By creating this team, Zavala said the girls are helping bridge the gap between the special needs community. 

“We still have so far to come in how we treat kids with disabilities,” Zavala said. “We should treat them how we treat everyone else, and this is a small way that we can do that and reach more people.” 

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