A HEREFORD cheerleading group want to keep children positive during the current coronavirus outbreak by creating online classes and have produced a video.

After being denied a chance to perform their annual team dance in person members of 3Degreez Allstarz have created an online version.

3Degreez operate out of three locations in Hereford with their main base being Hinton Community Centre and recreational classes running out of the Salvation Army Hall and tots sessions at Widemarsh Children's Centre.

The competition side had been having a successful season winning two 'grand champion banners' being the highest ranking team of the day across multiple divisions.

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They were preparing for the National Championships in June when the coronavirus hit causing them to suspend their classes.

"To be forced to close our doors was the hardest decision we have ever had to make," said director Katie-Louise.

"Having never cancelled a class in over seven years it broke us all as a coaching team, I know I cried for a good few hours."

However, with the help of modern technology the 3Degreez coaching team have continued their classes while in social isolation.

"For us as coaches we wanted to be able to try and help our kids focus on something positive and not whatever is going on in the world," added Katie-Louise.

"I know as a mum I want my daughter to remember this time as a fun experience and not worry or wonder why she can't see her friends and do the hobby she loves etc so behind the scenes our coaching team has built a product we call cheer school.

"Within this we help our members focus on their school studies as well as Allstar Cheer and encourage fitness and activities.

"For us it was important to help keep that social interaction high on our priority list, we pride ourselves at 3Degreez for building confidence and self esteem within our athletes and this is something we want to make sure our members don't loose when all this is over."

In each of the last five years 3Degreez Allstarz have performed a showcase to include all of their students.

This year's performance was due to take place in May and preparations were already underway when the classes were suspended.

A team dance sees all of the members throughout the age groups come together to take part.

After cancelling this year's performance the team set a challenge of creating an online video version.

"We create this dance to be simple enough for our youngest three year olds to perform with a few harder elements for our older members," added Katie-Louise.

"We had recently started learning this dance the week we broke up and knowing that our showcase in May was to be cancelled I was so upset this dance would not be completed this year or at best postponed.

"This year was going to be our biggest performance to date with all 200 cheerleaders performing together and the thought of us not being able to achieve it this year made us sad.

"With that in mind we set a challenge within cheer school to learn the simple chorus and have a go at the beat section - by just having fun, to see what family members would also get involved and remember it is okay to laugh and forget the struggles right now.

"Watching all the videos come in we had to make a mash up - what we called our virtual flash mob.

"We hoped that by sharing this video would give our members and others a opportunity to smile.

"Our sport is built solely on team work and this video we feel demonstrates that perfectly."

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