Over the next few weeks we will be running a series of post around the theme of cheering for all. The campaign looks at what cheering and being part of ICE means to different people, exploring why we all love cheer so much, what we have learnt from it and how it has helped some of you in different ways from making friends, building confidence and even with school work. We hope you enjoy the posts and if you have a story to share about how cheer has improved or changed your life for the better please let us know.
The case: Making cheering your business
Kim Mason has built her business through empowering and encouraging others. Owner of Incredibly Cool Events (ICE), Kim is an entrepreneur, wife and mother and prides herself on championing diversity and inclusivity in a field where perfection has always appeared to be the goal.
ICE organise dance and cheer competitions that encourage everybody to get involved regardless of age, race, ability or social background, challenging the stereotype of cheerleaders which is slim, blonde, perfect and American.
Kim has always had a passion for dance and started ballet aged five. She danced competitively until she was 18 and won a number of national titles. She retired from competitions at 18 to focus on a career in teaching and coaching.
Kim says: I set up a non-profit community organisation with the aim to get people dancing and give opportunities to all regardless of background and income status. My project worked within some of the most deprived areas in the West Midlands and gave some exciting opportunities to children and young people from disadvantaged communities. We performed at the Hippodrome, the Canon Hill Park Olympic Torch party alongside the Wanted and we even had 5 young people from our project run with the Olympic Torch.”
Kim has been running events in the West Midlands since 2008 but rebranded as ICE in 2015 with the aim of giving everybody the chance to perform on the big floor which can help build confidence. Kim says: “ICE is totally inclusive which is why we keep the costs of competitions so low. To take part in an ICE event on average costs 50% less than taking part in other cheer events. I truly believe that coming from a lower income family shouldn’t stop people following their passion.”
The ICE kingdom looks set to go from strength to strength with next steps being to replicate what they done with their regional cheer events with dance. They are also looking to deliver a number of workshops to aid coaches develop their skills and ensure they can max out their score sheets at comps, guidance on how to run their club with lots of success and half the stress and other helpful workshops for our wonderful coaches.