COLUMBIA CITY — Bringing home a national award is cause for celebration for any team, squad or group.
But for Vanessa Bills and the Whitley County Dazzlers, winning a cheerleading national title is somewhat shocking.
“I didn’t even realize we would be competing like that,” said Bills who is the Dazzler’s coach.
The special needs cheerleading squad is open to any age and gender in Whitley County who has a disability.
Last week, the squad took its first cross-country trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to compete in Cheer Ltd.’s national competition.
“I was worried at first when we got down there and found out we would be competing. Up until now, we’ve only performed in exhibition,” Bills said. “But as the event coordinators put it, these girls like to get awards too. They work hard and practice hard. Why shouldn’t they get a chance to earn a trophy?”
Not only did the squad earn a trophy, but each individual cheerleader took home three medals.
“I think some of the girls are still wearing their medals,” said Bills. “It meant so much to them. The whole time we were there, they were catered to. They felt like stars.”
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