GROVE - For 10 year-old Grove resident Noel Furr, cheerleading is a top priority.
Furr, along with her team Tulsa Twist and Shout, will be traveling to compete in The Summit, a national cheerleading competition held at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Resort in Orlando, Florida on Friday, May 1 through Monday, May 4. Furr said that what she is most looking forward to is competing with her team.
“Summit is a big competition and I’ve never been before, so I feel like it will be a good experience. It will be crowded through, so my anxiety my act up, but it’s worth it,” said Furr.
Furr has struggled with anxiety, but found that cheering has helped her deal with it. Her team takes confidence boosting photos to help.
Originally, Furr tried gymnastics, but realized that cheer was a much better fit.
“I liked the team sport of cheerleading. I enjoy making new friends and encouraging one another as a team,” said Furr.
At the young age of six, Furr joined the sport and hasn’t looked back since.
“My favorite part of being a cheerleader is the rush of the competition and being on stage with my team,” said Furr. “My favorite move is the back tuck. It’s basically a back flip in the air without touching the ground.”
Furr travels to Tulsa two to four times a week to train with her team. She is the only girl on the team from a small town.
“Sometimes it’s difficult because people here don’t always understand the commitment that All-Star cheerleading takes when it’s a year-round program. I also miss out on a lot of things with my friends here in town because of the practice time demands and travel times,” said Furr.
But she doesn’t regret her commitment to the sport.
“It’s fun though at the same time, because when I’m in town and may have my uniform on everyone looks at me like a celebrity or something and I think that’s kind of cool,” said Furr.
Furr’s commitment to her sport does not limit her education.
“I am homeschooled due to the demands of my training schedule for cheer and tumbling,” said Furr. “Maybe one year I can try to get back to traditional school, but for now, I am chasing my dreams.”
Furr is a fourth-grader at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy. Her teacher, Ms. Ring, was just awarded Teacher of the Year for the academy.
At home, Furr and her family have a fairly normal life.
“I have one sister, Kinzingtin, who is seven years-old. She does dance and is the cutest thing you will ever meet,” said Furr. “I like to play outside on the trampoline, swing on my big swing and climb trees, I like to play with my pets, my sister and my friends when I can. I also like to make slime and enjoy makeup tutorials and DIY videos.”
Furr’s mother, Tiffany McCabe, is also dedicated to her daughter’s dream.
“This is a huge accomplishment and few athletes have the honor to attend,” said McCabe. “We are working on getting sponsors and donations to help cover the cost of this unexpected trip. Coming from a small town, things have been difficult for us in finding funds.”
McCabe is a single parent and is working on several fundraisers to help, including an ‘egg my yard’ event. On Facebook she has created a fundraiser entitled “Noel’s trip to the Summit”. The Twist and Shout Booster Club is also adding names, logos and/or messages of sponsors on the t-shirts that the cheerleaders will wear at the competition. McCabe says interested parties should contact her on Facebook for more information.
To her cheer teammates, Furr has this to say:
“They are the best teammates I’ve ever had. With out hard work and lots of practice, we can win this thing!”