Cheer Extreme Raleigh hosts virtual practices during COVID-19 crisis

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Cheer Extreme Raleigh is home to more than 450 athletes from 3 to 30 years old.

This year, 5 teams were selected to go to the World Championships in Orlando.

"I really believe in my team," said Maddy Walker. "We've come together and pushed through all of the challenges that have come our way."

"Right now we want to give them some hope that not all is lost," said Kelly Helton. "It's our job now to train them virtually."

The competition was supposed to take place this spring but is now being postponed to the summer due to COVID-19. So for now, Cheer Extreme has moved their practices to Zoom.

"I'm very grateful that we have these virtual practices," said Walker. "Especially since worlds that is at the end of the year has not been cancelled yet it's been postponed. It really just brings us together and gives us a sense of hope that we will be able to show everyone what we've been working towards all season."

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"I was thrown into the virtual training world just like everybody else," said Helton. "We deal with team sports. My whole business is people touching other people and stunting and lifting them up and throwing them all around so we have to really put our eggs together as a staff."

Helton - the owner of Cheer Extreme Raleigh - wanted to give all of the athletes a sense of normalcy, even those not preparing for worlds, like the three-year-olds.

"It's cute because they'll get on there and they're all talking to each other and saying 'hey' and catching up," she said. "This is just kind of part of their daily routine now."

Helton said having the online classes has helped keep her in a routine and remain positive.

"There are some positives to this," she said. "That's kind of what cheerleading is all about, it's leading the crowd and getting them to get behind something and if we can't control the negativity of what's going on right now...why not cheerleaders, have them lead the way."

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