Custom House cheerleaders entertaining Olympic sports fans

Multi award-winning Ascension Eagles Cheerleaders is wowing up spectators during the Olympic Games with their thrilling warm-up performances.

The Custom House-based international champions are the ‘staple’ performers before Volleyball games at Earl’s Court and Basketball finals at the 02 Arena, renamed North Greenwich Arena during the sports extravaganza.

After searching around for a local team of performers, LOCOG turned to Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales who recommended the AEC and the relationship blossomed from there.

Co-founder and director Angela Brown said: “People from LOCOG came down to see us and they were really impressed. This was back around the test games last year.

“We still have to be very careful about what we say because there are all sorts of rules and regulations.

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“Like we can’t say we’re the official cheerleaders of the Olympic Games because there are branding rules.”

Training began in December at Talent Central, the AEC’s gym in Beckton, and senior AEC Legacy group have had to keep their involvement secret until now.

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Originally approached to be part of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, the AEC had to decline because they could not commit to the gruelling rehearsal schedule alongside their competition training.

However, the logistics of being Olympic performers has still been an incredible challenge.

Co-ordinating around 80 athletes - with some loaned from teams in Surrey and Reading - Angela has devised specially choreographed routines catered for the venues where they will be performing 11 hours a day for 16 days.

Keeping details of the performances discreet, Angela only reveals that the cheerleaders have been given special non-branded uniforms, and there will be an interactive crowd element during volleyball games.

Angela said: “We’ve had to slot this in around our competition training and it’s been a logistical nightmare, to be honest, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.”

They were approached to be in the Opening Ceremony but they declined because they could not commit to the gruelling rehearsal schedule with their competition training.

“They are all really excited but I don’t think anything will prepare them for the audience reaction inside the venues.

“It’s just been us performing in Talent Central, then the dress rehearsals with the producers and then we go into the venues in front of the crowds.”

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