Cheerleaders become sisters in London


Photo courtesy of Alyssa Kovach

Buckingham Palace! Kovach and Stanley pose in front of the Buckingham Palace. This is one of many attractions they visited in London, England.

Destiny Montgomery, Reporter

For a week over winter break, sophomore Alyssa Kovach and senior Cassara Stanley took a trip to London to cheer in the New Year’s Day Parade.

Kovach and Stanley tried out and qualified to be All American Cheerleaders. They had to do jumps, a cheer and a dance to qualify, and since they did, they won the trip.

“This summer, the varsity cheerleaders attended a UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) summer camp. Everyone had the opportunity to try out to be a part of the All American Tour in London. They chose a few girls who had the highest scores and performed the best,” Kovach said.

Sophomore Alyssa Kovach stands in her cheer uniform for the parade.

Three other girls qualified, but only those two chose to go.

“A lot of effort was put in towards this trip due to the fact that we had to pay for the whole thing. We did host a fundraiser, but it only paid for a small portion of it because there were other trips that needed to be paid for,” Stanley said.

Because they were there for a week, they got to explore London.

“We were there for about a week, and we got to see Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, Big Ben and many other sights. It was an amazing experience,” Kovach said.

Kovach and Stanley’s relationship grew while enjoying their trip.

Senior Cassara Stanley poses in her cheer uniform for the parade.

“I definitely think it brought us closer together because before we were just kind of mutual friends on the same cheer team, but traveling to a whole other country really just brings you together. I’m thankful it did because I am grateful to have shared this experience with Alyssa,” Stanley said.

Cheer coach Jamie Dyer is proud of both Kovach and Stanley.

“It’s awesome that they got to go. I wish they all could’ve gone. I wish I could’ve gone with them! But I’m super happy for them and super proud of them,” Dyer said.

Stanley can’t believe that she got the opportunity to go on this trip and that it felt like a dream to her.

“This experience was absolutely amazing. It almost feels like it didn’t happen, and like it was all a dream, but it did happen and so I’m thankful,” Stanley said.

Kovach was proud to represent the United States in another country, and to show her love for cheering.

Kovach and Stanley stand in front of one of many attractions in London.

“This trip was one of the best opportunities in my life, and I’m so thankful that not only UCA and the New Year’s Day parade team, but the athletic program at Altoona gave us this chance. I’m so proud that I got the chance to represent America and share the love of cheer with people all over London,” Kovach said.