Brianna O'Connor, 16, left, Ashley Gaudet, 19, centre, and Kassie Archer, 15, warm up outside the Vancouver Convention Centre yesterday.

Abbotsford Valley Stars cheerleader Ashley Gaudet was at the Vancouver Convention Centre yesterday competing in the Sea to Sky International Cheerleading Championship. The winners advance to the finals at Disneyworld in Florida.

How do cheerleaders keep them­selves in shape?

It takes a lot of conditioning and training. You have to be able to run a routine and have energy. You can’t just expect your body to be able to do this.

What is something most people don’t know about cheerleading?

A lot of people look at cheerleading lightly … It’s not just screaming and pompoms, it takes a lot of hard work.

(In our workouts,) for example, one girl will go on her hands and knees and we’ll get a girl to jump over her about 50 times – it really works the whole body.

Is there a lot of jealousy?

There can be, especially with competitions. If a girl (masters) a skill before you it’s jealousy, definitely. If one girl is always at the front of the routine then it can become catty.

What is the ultimate cheerleading goal?

To make finals in Cheerleading Worlds. There is college-level cheerleading; they hand out a lot of scholarships. I think they are trying to get cheerleading into the Olympics, (which) would be a goal in itself. 

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