By KYLE LOVERN
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – While cheerleading may not be an official sport yet, a group of U.S. cheerleaders is heading to London to cheer for the Men’s Basketball Semifinal and Finals.
One of those cheerleaders is Ronnie Patrick, II of Huntington, W.Va. Ronnie is the grandson of Ron and Ann Patrick, formerly of the Lenore area. They now reside in Barboursville.
Ann Patrick is a former member of the Mingo County Board of Education. Both she and her husband were very active in the community.
Ronnie was all state in football and all area in basketball at Cabell Midland High School. He never cheered in high school. He started cheering by joining a local all-star gym (River Cities All-Stars), when not playing high school sports, according to his proud grandfather Ron Patrick.
“Ronnie was offered several football scholarships to play football but accepted an opportunity to try out for cheerleading at the University of Tennessee,” his grandfather said. “Ronnie was offered a full scholarship and cheered for the University of Tennessee for four years and graduated with his degree in psychology. He then was offered a graduate assistant cheerleading scholarship at Morehead State University, where he’s currently starting his final year for his Master’s degree.”
The younger Patrick has also worked five years for UCA, which teaches cheerleading across the United States and around the world.
“Last year Ronnie traveled to Europe teaching cheerleaders and has plans to travel to other countries that are making cheerleading a national sport,” Ron Patrick added. “Ronnie has always been focused on any task at hand and a self-motivator. His coaches from midget league football to high school and college sports have always commented on how easy he is to coach. They have praised his leadership abilities. Ronnie was also student body president at Cabell Midland High School.”
The cheerleading group, sponsored by Varsity, is comprised of outstanding college cheerleaders and top instructors from throughout the United States, the birthplace of organized cheerleading. The team will be entertaining the crowds and television audiences with choreographed cheers, stunts and tumbling, and a performance during a halftime show.
Ronnie is a member of the Morehead State University cheerleading squad.
The team of American cheerleaders will be working closely with the Ascension Angels from the London Borough of Newham, coached by Angela Brown, who initially reached out to the group. Organized cheerleading now has a foothold in more than 100 countries, and the United Kingdom has maintained a prominent presence in cheerleading in Europe.
“Being asked to perform in London this summer is a dream come true for all of us,” says Josh McCurdy, Director of Curriculum for Universal Cheerleaders Association, one of the Varsity training branches. “We have worked with teams all over the world, and are proud to showcase the talent of our athletes on such a large, global stage.”
Varsity, the worldwide leader in cheerleading training, was founded by Jeff Webb in 1974. Each summer, Varsity staff train 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers in all aspects of spirit leading. Varsity is credited with transforming cheerleading with the addition of exciting, athletic and entertaining moves and routines, as well as National Competitions televised on ESPN and CBS Sports, and events at Walt Disney World® Resorts in Orlando, Florida.
“We are thrilled to be bringing top notch athletes to London to lead the crowd in cheering on the competitors,” says Jeff Webb, founder and CEO of Varsity. “As cheerleading makes strides to become an officially recognized sport, we welcome the opportunity to show the world what cheerleading is all about.”
For more information about Varsity, and their London schedule, please contact Sheila Noone, 901-251-5959 or email@example.com.