Even though we’re fighting a super virus, and our 20th anniversary party had to be canceled, it’s still our 20th anniversary year! So the blog is returning to a look back at 20 years of EDE adventures:
The New Red Squad – Ever since the original competition team had been canceled back in 2004, occasionally I was approached by those wanting to compete. The Bellevue Parks people were very much against the idea of competition because they felt that competition should be reserved for club or studio teams. So for several years when my cheerleaders wanted to compete I would give them a list of local all-star teams they could join so they could have that option.
By 2013, rec competitions had become much more popular in Washington. The idea kept nagging at me. We wouldn’t have to compete against all-stars—we could have our own divisions and provide an opportunity for those who wanted to compete but didn’t want the travel and monetary commitment of an all-star team.
I knew those at the City of Bellevue wouldn’t go for the idea (no change in personnel or ideas) so I approached the City of Mercer Island. We had already had a Dream Team there for a few years so it seemed like a natural extension. They were THRILLED with the idea, to put it mildly. They jumped at the thought of giving opportunity to compete, in what is widely regarded as a very expensive sport, to those who don’t have or choose not to allocate that kind of financial commitment to an extra-curricular activity. It was a perfect match for their goals, and ours.
We began the competition team that fall, naming it Red Squad once again as an homage to the first Red Squad. They competed
in only two competitions the first year, including the state championships. We won the state championship that year and all subsequent years. We’ve even expanded to attending Nationals in California for those who want to. And through it all we’ve learned how to be excellent team members when needed and leaders when needed. We’ve learned from hard work and disappointments and picked ourselves back up. And we continue with our mantra, “It’s good to have fun, but it’s fun to be good.”