Cheer Legacy Athletics (CLA) began as a club of seven athletes that trained in the mezzanine of the Civic Centre on small mats six years ago.
Tomorrow, they will truly hit a milestone when the club, which now consists of 130 athletes, unveils their brand new custom-built facility, the first of its kind in the province.
"It's been something that we've been working towards for over a year," CLA owner and head coach Lesie Rathje said. "There's no other program in Saskatchewan that has a custom-built standalone facility and from my experience, it's the most beautiful as well."
The grand opening of the new building, located at 771 109 St. in North Battleford, begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony. That will be followed by a free come-and-go open gym event, as well as a BBQ. The event will run until 8 p.m.
Until this past Saturday, the club had been using the Frontier Mall as their most recent headquarters.
"Having your own space is just better for a million and one reasons," Rathje said. "Some of the main differences are it allows us to have a full competition floor without having a big supoport beam in the middle of the floor, it gives the athletes more opportunity to be involved in the club, our hours aren't restricted, and we have a beautiful mezzanine for our parents to enjoy so that parents and athletes kind of have two separate areas.
"We've reinvested every penny back into this program so we can give kids and the community the best posssible training facility, so that they can be the best athletes possible. We [will] finally be in a place where we can provide a really high quality program and compete with bigger programs in the province."
The 2017-18 CLA season is also on the horizon.
Some teams, in fact, have already been practicing this summer, which is a first for CLA teams, although typically the norm.
"We have three age groups training right now; a 6-8 year-old age group, a 9-13 year-old age group and then our worlds team is also training through the summer," Rathje said. "It's kind of the standard across the province, and the country, and the world, to have teams start training in the summer instead of in September."
When the fall does roll around, there will be a choice of 11 different teams for families to choose from.
Team placements for those options is set for Aug. 15, 16, and 17. Interested athletes simply show up to the time for their age group and put down their preference. They aren't guaranteed to be given their top choice, but it's not like tryouts where some people are cut and turned away.
"It's a little bit different than just signing up, but everybody makes a team and everybody has a say for what team they would like to be on," Rathje said. "Then we send out team lists and practices start the first week of September."
An information package on all of those options will be ready shortly.
CLA is also launching a pre-school program called The Active Learning Pre-School Club. There will be 40 part-time spots available, beginning with the open house on Aug. 1.
Although CLA owns and will be running the program, it is not cheerleading pre-school. Information can be found by calling 306-481-6606 or by e-mailing [email protected]
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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