DataLabs helps young cheerleading talents reach new heights!
In December, we responded to Maria Kaystro’s post on Facebook, saying that her team ‘Cheer Magic’ at Tornado Sports Complex needed pom poms for the competition. Completing all the paperwork for charitable assistance turned out to be lengthy and difficult, but a month later we finally handed over a new set of pom poms to Maria’s team.
Cheer Magic is not a simple team. It is the only inclusive cheerleading team in Ukraine, located in the Dnipro region. Founded by Maria Kaystro in December 2017, it initially consisted of 30-40 children between 7 and 15 years old with hearing and speech impairment, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities.
Due to the studio being always busy, the girls could practice only once a week during the first year. Throughout this difficult time, the number of team members dropped to 20, but Maria says that these are the strongest and most ambitious children. Despite the difficulties caused by inability to divide the girls into groups by age and level of physical fitness, the team is still resolutely practicing and actively participating in competitions at both the regional and national levels.
Unfortunately, the status of the only inclusive cheerleading group has its drawbacks. The kids have no opponents, and Maria is looking for colleagues from the dance sector to interest them in cheerleading.
Looking into the future, Maria’s biggest dream is for ParaCheer to become an official sport in Ukraine with the support of the Ukrainian Federation of Cheerleading. Thus, teams will have a chance to compete in international contests against other inclusive teams.
We’re rooting for Cheer Magic and wish Maria success in all her endeavors!