|Oilers Octane perform at Alberta Cheerleading Association's Total Spirit Championships. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club) |
Performing in front of hundreds of cheerleaders and spectators, the Oilers Octane performed two routines, receiving a loud roar of approval from those in attendance. Since their debut on December 16, 2010, the Octane have been in high demand throughout Oil Country and were pleased have been invited to perform and give back an event that many of them were part of when they were younger. In addition to showing their Oilers spirit, the Octane also spent time meeting cheerleaders from across the province who are interested in trying out for the team in the 2011-12 season.
Each year, West Edmonton Mall plays host to the Alberta Cheerleading Association (ACA) Total Spirit Championships. Over 150 teams from Alberta and Western Canada take part in this event, with participant's ages ranging from five to over 30. The main purpose of the competition is to act as a fundraiser for the ACA. Proceeds from the event pay for things such as annual awards, scholarships, website, training, and daily operating costs. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
Kendra Eliuk, a member of the Alberta Cheer Empire, was extremely excited when the Octane were first introduced into the NHL. "I love the retro look of the team, something the whole family can enjoy," said Eliuka, who is a 10 year cheerleading veteran. "The Octane has brought allot of positive exposure to our sport which is a huge bonus."
Being a member of the Oilers Octane is so much more than just knowing how to dance, it also requires a strong sense of community involvement. This idea is shared with Stan Lopez, another veteran in cheerleading who has competed multiple times at the Total Spirit Championships. He has grown to love the Octane's energy at home games and their crowd interaction. "The girls represents Octane and the Oilers perfectly, they put their foot on the gas and never stop," said Lopez. "I would love to have my kids join the Octane in the future as the team showcases what women can do as leaders in the community."
The Octane's very own Kaitlyn knows all about these types of competitions as she has competed at many Total Spirit Championships. Over the years, her teams have won numerous awards and titles. "Attending events such as these are important not only in representing the Oilers, but also in representing the cheer community," said Kaitlyn.
With the tremendous response to the Oilers Octane this year, the team is already preparing for the 2011-12 season. Jac, an experienced gymnast and member of the Oilers Octane was very impressed with the calibre of cheerleaders and dancers at the competition. "We were very pleased to be asked to be here to perform at the ACA’s. The skill level at this event is amongst the best in Canada and many of the girls have expressed an interest in trying out with the Octane which bodes well for the future."
For those interested in trying out for the Oilers Octane for the upcoming Edmonton Oilers Season, click here to be contacted when the recruitment process begins