Meet Kate Wickham co-owner and founder of Champion Cheerleading in South Surrey. See how she started this amazing business and how it has grown into something that helps these young ladies grow and develop their talents and reach for the stars.
Describe your business
Describe your business
We are a Cheerleading Gym and we run competitive teams, recreation classes, tumbling classes, summer camps, and everything to do with cheer, dance and gymnastics.
What made you decide to open this business?
So my sister, Emily, and I grew up in North Carolina and Cheerleading is huge there and in the States. It's almost a of a way of life there! We moved to BC late in high school and there wasn't anything here that compared to it, so we started volunteering with a local cheer for football kind of thing but we really loved the competition side. It's a lot more athletic and more fun for the kids. We saw that there was a gap in the market and we ended up getting enough kids to open our own space.
SO HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE NOW?
We have around 200 and all ages. We start at 4 years old with our Tiny Team, and our oldest at gym is 26.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
I think my love for the kids. It's my dream job. I get to show up every day and interact with kids that I have known for years, and just get to watch them grow up. It's really an amazing experience for me. They get stronger and develop in just in one year is incredible and it's very rewarding.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
I'm really into the coaching side and dealing with the kids, and what surprised me the most has been the paperwork. My sister Emily is my business partner and she deals with the money side of things which I am not so good at. We are a good team!
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN STARTED COACHING AND THE BUSINESS?
I started coaching when I was 16, but we opened the business a few years out of High School. Emily was 19 and I was 20. This is our 10th year open. When we first opened, we were here 7 days a week from 9am until 10pm. I don't quite have that much energy anymore!
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN IN THIS LOCATION?
When we first started we were two doors down in a smaller space and by the end of the year we had 100 kids. It just blew up! We had to expand and we are still looking for a bigger space.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
The parents of the kids that have joined have told us that their kids didn't quite fit in with soccer or they didn't quite fit in with certain other sports and when they come here, they have found something that they love. It's a little more different than been on other teams as we need every single person here to do their routine . If you are missing one person, it doesn't go the way it's supposed to go. There is a different sort of dedication that is needed and so they really, truly become a family.
What are your goals over the next year?
I would love grow different sides of the business. We have really been focused on All Star competitive cheerleading, but there is so much more that we could probably do with the tumbling side of things, and getting into dance and growing our camps a little more. More space would be nice too.
HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD A WHILE"?
When we came here from North Carolina, we went to Elgin Secondary and lived in the Elgin area for a long time. Most of my family is in the area too. I used to live behind Steve Nash in Morgan Crossing as well. So we have been in the area for a while now and we love it.
What do you love most about the neighborhood?
I love that it is really a community and everything is really close. You get to walk places and be close to restaurants, to schools, the beach and there is everything in one place. Every time I go out, I see kids that I have coached in the past or that I have previously coached. They are excited to see me and its always a fun surprise to see them.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO?
We are really into hiking. We love this area and it's so easy to get everywhere. I take my dogs for walks at the beach but hiking has been our big passion for about 4 years. For last while we have tried to race our times doing the Sea to Sky. That one is a really good one. We loved the Chief for in the past, but now enjoy the Sea to Sky more. It's so much longer and challenging.
What are your favorite restaurants in the neighborhood?
I love Rasoi Restaurant further down King George Corridor by Choices. They cook Indian food there . It's fantastic and definitely my favourite in the area.
What is something most people don't know about you?
People probably know this about me, but I am a complete animal lover. I just rescued a little dog not that long ago. Our family lives on a farm now and we get to go over there, and they have all sorts of animals and we get pet them. It's so much fun. If I didn't have a Cheerleading gym, I think I would be doing something with animals.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHT SO FAR?
I think it is watching some of these kids grow up. We still have a few kids that were with us from the beginning , so over the last 10 years, we have seen them go from elementary school to high school, to graduating. It's fun to watch the evolution of their lives.
Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?
Definitely supporting local businesses is important. We would not exist if people didn't come to us as a small business. You know where your money is going and that helping them send their kids to university and so on. It's nice to see the growth in the area too.
Note: This article is about Champion Allstar Cheerleading. Please visit their profile page to find more information and review the business.