Anna Grigson is a twister at heart, but she is taking a tumble into new territory in England.
Tauranga’s Bay Twister cheerleader parted ways with the club in September and is already reaping her rewards.
Now representing Unity Allstars in Surrey, she’s not only on the All Girl Team Ruby, but also Team England All Girl Senior.
Last weekend she competed in her first UK national champs at the ICC Nationals in Nottingham, and won first place alongside her ruby sisters as well as a direct entry into the Cheerleading Worlds in America.
“It was an amazing feeling to win because we also got a partial paid bid to the Worlds 2020,” says Anna. “We knew that we all had to do our job and hit our routine, so it was great to get this achievement.”
The 16-year-old has already represented New Zealand at the Cheerleading Worlds in Florida last year, and says being a part of Unity Allstars was the next step up.
“I was born in England and I’ve wanted to represent my birth country for a while,” she says, “so when the opportunity came up, I knew I had to take it.
“I actually met some people from Unity Allstars at the Worlds last year and started following their page.
“Unity Allstars is a very well-known cheer club in England and one of the best in the country, so I have had more experience and have learned a lot being here already.”
As well as competing alongside Unity Allstars, Anna has also gained further experience in coaching.
“I’m a junior coach for a youth level one team over here in England, but this isn't my first time coaching,” she says.
“I have been coaching for the past three years at Bay Twisters, which has been a great opportunity.
“Coaching has given me more confidence and more of a voice.”
Anna says her ultimate dream is to represent an American team and go to the Olympic Games.
“I am hoping to go to America to be on a team, because the skill set is a lot harder and cheerleading is very big over there,” she says.
“If cheerleading does go to the Olympics then I definitely want to be on a team when it does, as it would be an absolutely amazing experience.”
The Cheerleading Worlds hosts more than 12,000 cheer and 4000 dance athletes competing for world champion titles in senior and international club divisions and categories.
The Cheerleading Worlds will be held from April 27-29 in Orlando.