VCEC Hosts Canada's First Ever Cheerleading Championships

    2,000 athletes prepare to jump, kick, and flip!

    VANCOUVER, March 30 /CNW/ - This coming weekend, March 31 and April 1,
the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre will feature the first annual
International Cheerleading Championships in the facility's exhibit halls. The
event - the first of its kind to be held in Canada - will present nearly 2,000
athletes competing for various cheerleading division titles.
    The athletes range from ages three to 42 with teams from across Canada
and the US - including 550 athletes from Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. More
than half are BC residents from Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, and the
Lower Mainland.
    "Our goal is to produce a quality championship that unites the
cheerleading community," said event organizer Elizabeth Gigante, Director of
the International Cheer Alliance (ICA) and former BC Lions Cheer Team Director
and Coach. "Led by 170 coaches, our athletes have been training extremely hard
for this competition and this is a unique opportunity for the province to see
some incredible talent."
    Gigante continued: "The college and high school level competitions are
big components of the event, and spectators will see some very advanced group
stunts, co-ed pair's stunts, and individual performances."
    The championship includes 54 programs with 147 performances on Saturday,
and 97 performances on Sunday. Athletes will be judged on a variety of
criteria including stunts, technical skills, and execution. The ICA is
expecting more than 2,500 spectators, and the event is open to the public.
Tickets are available at the door and cost $12 for a one-day ticket or $20 for
two days.
    "We're really looking forward to holding Canada's first cheerleading
championship at our facility this weekend," said Barbara Maple, VCEC
President. "Although not typically known for hosting sporting events, the VCEC
has held quite a few over our 20-year history including the World
Weightlifting Championships in 2003, and the Davis Cup in 1990 where we
converted our exhibit halls into a tennis court."
    Maple added: "And of course we're looking forward to serving as the
International Media & Broadcast Centre for the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic
Winter Games."


    Since opening in 1987, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre has
been British Columbia's flagship convention facility - hosting more than 300
events and 600,000 delegate days each year, and generating more than $210
million in annual economic benefits. When its major new expansion completes,
the VCEC will offer a combined total of nearly 500,000 square feet of function
space and will serve as the international media and broadcast centre for the
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010.

For further information:

For further information: Carly Thorson, Communications Manager, Ph:
(604) 647-7353, Cell: (604) 506-0358, Email:

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