Local cheerleading team to compete in The D2 Summit at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports
By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Technique Gems, a local cheerleading training program located in Kennicott Park, announced that their team “Bling” has been selected to compete at one of the nation’s most prestigious cheerleading competitions for small gyms, the D2 Summit, produced by Varsity All Star.
The event will be held between May 11-13 at Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. According to a Technique Gems statement, the D2 Summit will include performances in the newly opened Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which officially opened in January, and is the first facility in the world built specifically for cheer and dance competitions.
Member of the “Bling” team include Stacia Gardner, Lindblom Math and Science Academy; Aubrie Conner, Lane Tech High School; Amari Conner, Gwendolyn Brook College Prep; Cyndie Taylor, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep; Keayla Moreland, Pershing Magnet School; Jah’ Kaya Tekhn, University of Chicago Charter – Woodlawn.
According to the 2018 D2 Summit National Small Program Championship guidelines, gyms that compete in Division 2 or D2 only train 125 athletes or less annually, modeled on Division II universities that tend to have fewer students than Division I schools. The 2017 D2 Summit showcased 800 teams and 16,000 competitors from across the United States.
“This means the world to our athletes,” said owner Catherine Colloway in a statement released by Technique Gems. “It is a great accomplishment not just for our program, but the community at large and for African-American cheerleading in general. Performing on such a large stage is an honor. We were blessed with an At-large bid, the second highest rewarded. We are competing in one of the most prestigious divisions in history. Competing against 79 other teams, having a seat in the semifinals is a huge deal. We know it’s easy to win, but we want our athletes to really learn to compete. If they can compete in this environment, they can compete in life.”
“Bling” will be competing May 11-13. Fans at home can watch a livestream of the event on Varsity TV on varsity.com.
“We train our athletes three times per week and these young ladies have worked very hard,” added Coach Cheetah Farrar. “We put seven amazing young ladies together and they have bonded unbelievably. They are so close. This is more than a team. This is a family. I’m proud to be their coach.”