Liv Mason of Beaver Bank. (Submitted photo)

BEAVER BANK: Team sports is something that Liv Mason enjoys a lot. It’s likely why she hit it off when she first started competing in Cheer competitions some eight years ago at age three.

Now 11, the Grade 6 student at Harold T. Barrett Junior High in Beaver Bank has made many friends through cheerleading and is heading to Florida this weekend as a member of Team Canada (Team Nova Scotia) for the International Cheer Union (ICU) Cheerleading Worlds Championship.

“The thing I like best about cheer is the fact that it’s a team sport,” said Liv in a recent email interview. “All of my teammates have become my best friends. We laugh together, we cry together and in the end we all have the same goal in mind.

“I also like that cheer combines dance, stunting and gymnastics all in one routine so it keeps things exciting.”

Liv’s older sister was also in Cheer, and she would watch her practices a lot. That gave her early insight to what it was all about.

“I just knew it was something I wanted to do too,” she said. “And now my younger sister is in cheer too.

“I feel like anyone who tries Cheer instantly falls in love with the sport! I also love competing and getting to wear our pretty uniforms.”

She joined Extreme Athletics in Dartmouth at just three-years-old and has started her eighth year with them.

Liv said having Team N.S. named as Team Canada means everything to her. It’s quite an amazing achievement as well.

“Getting to compete at Worlds is something I never, ever thought I would get the opportunity to do,” she said. “It’s as big as it gets in the cheerleading world.”

When she tried out for Team N.S. and learned she made it she couldn’t believe it.

“It was such an honour to represent our province,” said Liv. “Then fast forward a couple months and we had to opportunity to try out to become Team Canada. Receiving that message that we had made it and would be competing at Worlds in Florida is something I will never ever forget.”

“Even though a lot of us compete against each other at competitions, we have all become friends and get to share this amazing opportunity with each other. “

Team Canada is from Team N.S. (Submitted photo)

She said there is not a lot of recognition for cheer.

“A lot of people still think it’s cheering on another team from the sidelines and that’s just not the case for us,” said Liv. “We are the athletes and now people get to cheer for us. 

The squad, ranging in age from 12-14, has been chosen from teams across the country to don the Maple Leaf as Team Canada at the upcoming International Cheer Union (ICU) Cheerleading Worlds Championship. It’s the same event two Fall River girls will also be attending and teammates with Mason.

It will be held at the SPN Wide World Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. They will be competing in the Median Youth All Girl division.