York Hornets Cheerleading Memories

In honour of Challenge Week 2024 meet some of our incredible cheerleading alumni. Numerous athletes begin their cheerleading journey at York Hornets and often pursue competitive opportunities post-graduation, having developed a deep passion for the sport.  Our club is fortunate to boast such talent, with alumni serving as inspirations for what can be achieved through dedication and perseverance after university. 

Faith Phillips

“I started cheer at York in 2016 with no previous experience. In my four years I competed at L2, L3 and Pom and became national champion. I was also voted black vice-captain in my final year. Hornets have allowed me to develop so much as both an athlete and a coach while making friends for life. Since graduating, I have competed in all-star cheer for five years in levels 3-7. My highlight has been making Team England for two years in a row and competing at ICU Worlds in 2023. Now I’m also a coach at York Hornets, which feels like a full circle moment.” – Faith Phillips

Jade Brewer

“I was on Hornets from 2017-2021 as part of both Cheerleading and Dance (teams Black, Gold and Hiphop) where I was also President and Merch Rep of the club during my time. I am now with The Architects Dance Company going to my 1st Worlds this year with the All Girl HipHop team Storm and I also compete with their UK Open Coed HipHop team Velocity! I’ve been lucky enough to have competed at lots of different sports at university and through my final year with Hornets I found my calling for HipHop! I hadn’t had much dance experience and never thought I would be able to dance on the world’s stage but off I go to Florida next month!! It’s an incredible achievement, one I am so very happy and grateful for and I can’t wait to show everyone what we have been working so hard on the last year!

Sport definitely doesn’t have to end at uni and there is truth in the fact it’s never too late to try something new! Joining uni I started off as a competitive swimmer but I always had a love for Hiphop and I’m so happy I explored that path through Hornets and Architects and have been able to get to the level I am today!” – Jade Brewer

“I was on Hornets for my three years at York and in that time I coached Gold and was Captain on Black. When covid ended my final uni season early, I took a break from cheer and focused on my career. I spent two and a half years as a primary school teacher but ultimately all roads led me back to cheerleading and I now work for CheerTravel organising group travel for cheerleading teams competing internationally. In 2022 I got back into cheerleading and I am now on Trailblazer Allstars level 7 team ‘Innova7e’. I was lucky enough to go to Texas last season to compete at NCA and will be competing at the World Championships in Florida next month!” – Katie Jago

“I started cheer in 2018 at York on Gold, having never done cheer in my life and having no tumbling or dancing experience. I absolutely fell in love with the sport and joined Vikings later on that season on their Open 2 team and groupstunt. I was then put on Black my second season, which I was so happy about (I still watch that routine back on YouTube all the time!). After an amazing four years as a Hornet, I knew I wasn’t done with cheer, so I joined Unity Allstars, and was put on their NT4 team, Smoke, which was so exciting. I had never done any level 4 skills, so to be put on a team at that level at Unity was incredible. I am now on their NT5 team, Ivy. I never thought I would make a level 5 team. I remember those skills feeling so out of reach at uni. One of my biggest achievements was probably hitting a double up first try, but I am still working hard and hope to make a worlds team at some point. My absolute dream team would be Unity Allstars Steel (NT6).” – Luna Haag

“I started my Cheerleading journey with York Hornets in 2017 with no prior experience. I instantly fell in love with the sport and made life-long friends. York Hornets is an amazing club and I am so grateful for the opportunities the club gave me and for sparking my passion for Cheerleading. During my three years on Hornets I competed at L1, L2 and L3. I was then elected as Group Stunt Captain in my final year. Unfortunately, Covid ended my final year on Hornets early. I then took a 3 year break to focus on my career as a Solicitor, as I was unsure whether I would have the time to commit to Cheerleading. During this break I really missed competing and soon realised I wasn’t done with my journey yet. I recently joined Unity Allstars in 2023 and am competing on their NT3 team, Chilli. I am over the moon to be Cheerleading again. I was also elected to be one of the team captains which is a huge honour, particularly as it is my first season at Unity.” – Lauren Maddock

Hannah Sutcliffe

“I joined Hornets in 2020 having never done cheerleading before and was on black for all 3 years and level 3 group stunt as well for my final year. Since joining I have never looked back and have fallen in love with the sport. I have met some of the most amazing people and have made some friends for life. While in York I also joined Vikings to coach and train which I enjoyed every moment. After graduating in 2023, I knew I wanted to continue and am now going to the World Championships with Airborn Allstars Royal A’s (IO5) and am so excited to see other alumni and friends out there!” – Hannah Sutcliffe

“I started cheerleading in my first year at the University of York. I grew up dancing when I was younger but fancied something different at university and thought cheerleading would be a fun sport to get into – how I was RIGHT! I started my cheerleading journey on the Pom team for two years, where we had amazing successes like grand National champions in 2018! I then competed with both Pom and Level 2 Group Stunt ‘Odin’ with Vikings Cheer and we competed in comps before graduation placing 1st. I well and truly caught the cheerleading bug and continued this after graduating. Whilst doing my masters in Durham I began coaching Level 2 junior at Skyline Cheerleading in North Tyneside. I coached here for two seasons and absolutely loved it – but missed cheering myself. Once I got my job in Newcastle, I started cheering at North East Cheer. Since 2022 i ve been competing on the international Level 3 NT team ‘Force’, and we have retained 4 national titles, remaining undefeated since last season. I’m forever grateful to York Hornets as the club sparked my passion for a new sport – as well as giving me forever friends. Thank you Hornets.” – Chloe Charters

“I was on York Hornets Black & Group Stunt Level 3 whilst at university and also did Vikings Level 4 and pom! I absolutely loved the community I was part of and I’ve made so many friends from York. Since graduating, I have moved to London for work and joined Blackout Evolution after a 3 year break from cheering. I train with their Level 3 team Power and Level 4 Shogun. The coaching is amazing and I’ve met so many incredible people. I am also the Vice Captain for Power!” – Yasmin Lee

“I discovered cheer at the University of York and immediately fell in love with the sport. I competed Level 2 and 3 during my time there during 2014 – 2018 and made friends for life as a Hornet. My stunt group in first year, the infamous Queen Bees, taught me how to be a strong and confident woman. These cheerleaders were the must to my queen bee tattoo! While I miss my time as a Hornet, I’m still building on my stunting skills and now I’m on a level 5 development team with Ascension Eagles in East London and working on partner stunts at open gyms with various friends I’ve made through cheer.” – Becky Robinson

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