UBC Okanagan's gym was packed with people and loud music Saturday at the fifth annual Okanagan Cheerleading Championships.
Over 800 cheerleaders, from three-year-olds to adults, competed at the event.
“Cheerleading is an amazing sport because it really embodies some of the best parts of a number of different sports,” said Nicole Parrotta, event co-ordinator. “There's so many different elements that all work in it.”
Competitors travelled from across British Columbia and Alberta to compete at Saturday's event.
And Parrotta says that while some may think pom-poms and “rah rah” when they think cheerleading, it's far more of an athletic endeavour than that.
“It's being considered for the Olympics starting in 2024,” she said. “The sport of cheer is growing, there's gyms popping up all over.”
Parrotta is one of the owners and head coaches at Okanagan Firestorm, a local cheerleading gym that competed on Saturday.
Many of the volunteers working at Saturday's event are staff at Okanagan Firestorm.