In celebration of London City Airport’s longstanding relationship with Ascension Eagles Cheerleaders (AEC), the airport invited a group of young leaders from AEC to see the Men’s World Artistic Gymnastic Championships Finals at The O2 in October.
Elizabeth Hegarty, community relations manager at London City Airport said: “These young leaders have invested their time and talent in AEC members. Their combined thousands of hours of volunteering has literally impacted thousands of young people, with the result of raising aspirations, building skills and strengthening community. We believe that these young leaders are the real champions when it comes to volunteering in the community. To congratulate them we wanted to reward the group with a visit to the Gymnastic Championships Finals.“
Shara Brice, director of AEC, said: “All of these young leaders hope to represent their country at the Cheerleading World Championships in April 2010. They are so excited to be given an exclusive seat to view the Gymnastics World Artistic Championships. We are grateful to London City Airport for giving us this opportunity. The airport continues to invest in these young leaders and that investment is extended throughout our community.”
Ascension Eagles have been recognised as one of the UK’s most ethnically diverse and most effective youth programs. In a nation with over 15,000 cheerleading participants, Newham’s Ascension Eagles are undisputedly Britain’s best cheerleaders.
London City Airport has supported AEC since its inception in 1996. Located very close to the airport, AEC’s programme is closely aligned with the airport’s own focus on health, wellbeing and employability within the local community. AEC supports the development of well-rounded and capable young men and women who are ambassadors for Newham and the UK.
Alongside sponsorships and donations, London City Airport recently delivered some of its education excellence programme to AEC to support their employability skills and add value to their CVs. One example is the Represent London programme, which inspires and supports young people to develop skills relevant to the workplace such as teamwork, communication, customer service and health and safety. Represent London aims to ensure that young people from East London who wish to volunteer at the London 2012 Olympic Games have the skills to do so, whilst supporting their general employability at the same time.
AEC have performed at the airport Fun Day for 13 years. More recently, a selection of cheerleaders performed on the tarmac at London City Airport for the inauguration of British Airways’ new service to New York JFK in front of guests including the airline’s chief executive, Willie Walsh.
London City Airport now also supports the Britannia Royals Cheerleaders, a small group establishing itself from the Britannia Village Hall, linked closely to AEC, with one of AEC’s stars coaching this new, young team.
About Ascension Eagles Cheerleaders
From humble beginnings in Custom House, Ascension Eagles have been recognised as one of the UK’s most ethnically diverse and most effective youth programs Local youth make a year-round commitment to AEC at the beginning of each school year. Throughout the year, their busy AEC schedule promotes personal development, enrichment and achievement. The program is led by young people, for young people, with unprecedented results. In fact, in a nation with over 15,000 cheerleading participants, Newham’s Ascension Eagles are undisputedly Britain’s best cheerleaders.
In addition to building local youth into National Champions who are engaged locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, Ascension Eagles also build Leadership and Lifeskills in their members, while promoting healthy living, social cohesion, community integration and pre-employment training.
Ascension Eagles started London Cheerleading Academy (LCA) as a way to reach more young people, either through outreach sessions, or through weekly training in afterschool clubs. Twenty of the AEC Seniors have achieved their full coaching qualifications and invest in over 2600 other young people annually. LCA not only gives AEC leaders a platform to develop their skills to a professional level, it also has a tremendous impact on the wider community. At the first LCA ExCeL Cheer & Dance Showcase in March, we expected 200 young people to attend, and were amazed when over 600 performed. There is untapped development potential in this area. For the past 3 seasons, 2000 young people have been served by LCA. In 2008-09, this figure increased to 2600 annually.