A growing national cheerleading organization is coming to Faribault.
Champion Force Athletics has programs for youths ages 4-18 and is starting a club in Faribault.
Monday night classes start Feb. 13 and families can give it a try on a pay-per-class basis. If their child decides to keep cheering, they can compete at an annual state competition and if they do well there go on to compete nationally.
“It’s a high-end, competitive program offered at a low cost,” said Kristin Weber, Champion Force class operations assistant for all of Minnesota, and head coach in Waseca.
Weber is from Texas, where she said participating in competitive cheerleading can cost a family thousands of dollars each year. Champion Force Athletics offers a more affordable option in 11 states.
To get started there’s a registration fee and $9 a week for classes, which run for 17 weeks. For cheer families who decide to stay on, Weber said the total cost for the season, including state competition and uniform, is about $300.
The program is open to boys and girls of all backgrounds, including children with disabilities.
“We take everybody; any skill set,” Webber said.
Participants are divided into three age groups for classes and competition.
Weber launched the Waseca program in 2020, but COVID-19 soon after forced them into online only classes. Once they were able to come together in person, it did not take Weber long to lead them to success. All three Waseca teams won their divisions at last year’s state competition.
Now in addition to leading the Waseca teams, Weber is overseeing the launch of new clubs in Faribault and four other communities this spring.
Coaches are still needed in Faribault. Applicants need some background in cheerleading or dance, and some prior experience working with children is preferred, but Weber said training is provided. Weber will lead and assist with practices until local coaches are found and are comfortable in their new roles.
Parent volunteers also are sought to assist; in exchange the class fee will be waived for their child.
Existing cheerleading opportunities in Faribault include the high school’s program and a summer Spirit Team camp for elementary-age youths offered by Faribault Parks and Recreation.