Hello, lovely readers!
It's that time of year again when we bid a fond farewell to one season and eagerly embrace the next. In a smashing venue just minutes from our gym, we recently hosted our first (hopefully annual!) Seasons Change Party! It was a delightful event to close the chapter on Season 2 and usher in the promise of the new season to come.
A Night to Remember
The evening was a testament to the spirit we see in our gym every week, and the joy of celebrating together. Athletes, family and friends gathered together to commemorate the passing of Season 2 and to look forward to the great things that lie ahead.
One of the highlights of the evening was our awards ceremony, where we recognised the outstanding contributions of athletes to our team. We would like to take this moment to leave a space for these heartfelt speeches:
Hardest Worker Award Cheer for All: Viktoria The first athlete for this award joined us during the season in the Cheer For All classes. They have always turned up with a willingness to work. They have never complained or shirked any task we have asked of them during the season whether it be in the warm ups, conditioning or skills and whatever position we have asked.
Kinetic / Sonic: Charlotte This athlete started with us in the Cheer For All classes. Was always ready and willing to work hard. Always did what was asked in the sessions. Regularly showed us the progress being made either in the gym or at home and was consistently asking what exercises/drills they could do to progress and finished off the season as part of Sonic still showing the same willingness to work and improve.
Radioactive / Corrosion: Kim
This athlete is a talented veteran of the sport, having been in it many years. You will most likely see them basing, but has been dabbling with some flying and backing in recent weeks even when adamant they won't. They comes in every week and always put in effort into every task, even if it means adjusting to cover for injuries. They have spent many weeks throughout the season focused on drills for a new tumble skill, whether at the gym or at home and won't give up unless injury forces it. This athlete shows hard work does and will pay off regardless of when you start.
Dedication Award Cheer for All: Lisa M We are awarding our 2023 Dedication Award for our Cheer for All classes to an athlete who experienced a pretty serious injury a few months ago (outside of the gym, I must add). I know how hard it is to get back into training after being forced to take some time out, but this athlete was straight back in the gym when they were allowed, and working on getting their strength back. They also made sure their two children continued to attend training and competitions even though they couldn’t drive. Kinetic / Sonic: Eva P
This athlete came to use as part of our Cheer for All classes, and had never really done anything like cheer before so had no idea what to expect. Her dedication to pushing herself despite initially being nervous of some skills has impressed us all, and we love how proud she is to be a member of Catalyst. Radioactive / Corrosion: Emily
I actually struggled to write this speech for this athlete. If I listed everything that this athlete does that shows their dedication to the team, we would be here until midnight. They just ooze dedication every time they come through the gym door, and are always willing to play the role that is in the best interest of their team. They've not seen injuries as a time to have a cheeky break off cheer, they've been slogging in the gym with everyone else with adaptations.
Most Improved Award
Cheer for All: Lydia
This athlete is a little whirlwind and we love her for it, and over the past few months she has been lots more focused and been working hard towards new tumble skills. Well done!
Kinetic / Sonic: Taylor
The athlete taking away the 2023 Most Improved Award for Kinetic and Sonic was unable to join us tonight, so we’ll make sure they get this when we see them. We did still want to share with you our reasons for this award. We have known this athlete for a long time, and they’ve never given us any trouble, they’ve plodded along keeping up with their teammates, never letting the team down. However, over the last few months, they have been working their socks off, and are going into Season 3 as one of the most accomplished tumblers on Kinetic, and with improved flexibility and jumps.
Radioactive / Corrosion: Thea
This athlete has come on in leaps and bounds this year. From being designated a non-tumbler in our first season, they've pulled a cartwheel out the bag and are working towards a back walkover. I'll also never forget them coming to me at the second competition of the season with a photo of them doing a heel stretch in a crazy place in the venue, and my words were be careful or I'll put that in the routine. Needless to say I had to do it, and they flew it in the next two competitions and also flew a prep level tic toc. From someone that has been a base/backspot for their entire time in cheer, that is quite an achievement.
Cheer for All: Lisa C
The athlete taking away the 2023 Spirit Award for our Cheer for All classes is always a welcome face in the gym. They know their limitations but never let that stop them from giving it their best shot, and they bring joy and laughter to the class. They are always willing to go the extra mile, both inside and out of the gym.
Kinetic / Sonic: Poppy
This athlete knows how to put on a show, regardless of what they are doing in a routine they always do it with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. It's not always rainbows and butterflies in the gym with injuries etc, but when it's their time to shine in front of the judges, they dig deep and let their spirit shine.
Radioactive / Corrosion: River
This athlete is the embodiment of spirit. Always positive, with a kind word for everyone, and even when things aren't quite going to plan this athlete is always there with a "We've got this!" or a "You can do it!" So, this one's for an athlete who simply has a heart of gold.
Special Recognition Award
Danni Most of the awards we’ve presented tonight have been easy decisions, with more than one coach voting for an athlete. The Special Recognition Award was not that straightforward because we each picked someone different and had to share why we thought they should get it. I’ve been trying to think of the words to share with you all as I present this award and then I realised, I’ve already summed it up once already, so I’d like to just share with you an edited version of what I said when trying to convince the other coaches that my chosen athlete was the one: She has slotted in perfectly since she arrived, she’s always there come rain or shine (sometimes literally when she's wading through torrential rain to get to classes). She’s had injuries that she’s worked around and she’s keen to do her best. She sometimes overthinks and worries too much, but just needs to understand she is doing an amazing job. I feel like our gym is definitely a better place with her in it, and we would all miss her if she wasn’t around. Athlete of the Year Charlotte It's hard to believe that this athlete only joined us 16 months ago and had never cheered in their life. I've never witnessed an athlete get the cheer bug so quickly, it's like they've been cheering for years! They are always ready to get stuck in and give things a go, even if they've never done them before. Their progress with their tumbles has been astonishing, they've been really determined to tick off all their level 1 skills and start working on level 2 skills. We know that the hard work doesn't stop at the gym, they are working at home just as much, working on flexibility and strength. We can't wait to see what you bring to Catalyst's season 3!
The Seasonal Farewell As the night continued, we took time to reflect on the memories we had created in Season 2, shared some laughter and danced until our feet were sore. We expressed our gratitude for the lessons learned, the connections formed and the growth of our community during this season.
Welcoming the Unknown
With the arrival of a new season with more athletes, staff, and teams than ever, we are excited to embrace the unknown. Just as the seasons change, so too will we, as we continue to grow and evolve as a team and a family. Together, we are ready to face the challenges and relish in the joys that the coming season is sure to bring.
Conclusion Our Seasons Change Party was a night filled with warmth, gratitude, and anticipation. It reminded us that change is a beautiful part of life, and each season, whether in nature or in our community, has its own unique magic. As we step into this new season, we invite you to join us in celebrating the journey, the transitions, and the ever-changing beauty that surrounds us here in our little corner of Newcastle. Thank you for being a part of our community, and here's to a wonderful Season 3!
Also, same time next year?