Cheerleaders with disabilities overjoyed to be included in state competition: 'The girls loved it'

Cheerleaders with disabilities overjoyed to be included in state competition: ‘The girls loved it’

When the cheerleaders took the mat at the inaugural Heart of Texas Spirit Showcase mid-November there was one squad that was a clear favorite: No Limitations All-Stars.

The squad, specifically for those with disabilities, performed at Live Oak Classical School in Waco with more than 20 other squads from across Central Texas.

“The girls loved it,” Julie Potts, mom of cheerleader Madi Potts who has Down syndrome, told KWTX.  “The crowd at Live Oak was so amazing.  They roared so loud for our girls that I brought me to tears and left our girls feeling like they just won the entire competition.”

The girls, who participate in a nonprofit which provides sports for those with disabilities, practiced every weekend for nearly two months in order to perform at the state competition.

Katy Cordell, head cheer coach at Live Oak; Kathryn Willis, a student at Baylor University; No Limitations coach Maria Nybert; and Melissa O’Hare, a volunteer coach for No Limitations and an assistant varsity cheer coach at Live Oak all helped the girls prepare.

“They did an outstanding job showcasing their spirit as they cheered and did a few stunts and tumbling skills,” Cordell said.  “They were definitely one of the crowd favorites. It’s inspiring to see the cheer community transform to what it was when I was in high school to being so much more inclusive to anyone that wants to cheer and No Limitations has inspired my team and me and highlighted what being a cheerleader is all about which is showing up for your team and bringing your best no matter what.”

The school said they plan to make the competition an annual event, and the No Limitations cheer squad can’t wait to return next year.

This story warms our hearts. If only every sport could be this inclusive.

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