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The Cheer Xplosion competition cheerleading squad has been a part of the Ridgway YMCA since 2001.
"Our caring and understanding coaches have made this program a success," said Mary Lynne Bellotti, executive director of the Ridgway YMCA. "Each year between 45 and 60 girls dedicate themselves to representing the Ridgway YMCA at competitions throughout Pennsylvania and New York.
"Through the years our mini squad has become our junior squad and then onto our senior squad."
Bellotti, who said she thoroughly enjoys being a part of the cheerleading initiative, indicated that the participants display longevity and perseverance as they stick with the program.
"I have really enjoyed watching these girls grow throughout the years in this program,â€ť Bellotti said. "When they come in at the age of 7 and are leaving at the age of 18, you know it is a good program.â€ť
The Ridgway YMCA takes pride in being able to offer this program to not only the youth in the Ridgway community, but surrounding communities as well, including Johnsonburg, Kersey and St. Marys.
"Not only does this program promote health and fitness but it also gives you a good understanding of team work, friendship and dedication," Bellotti said. "Competitions are going on now."
For a complete look at where are girls are competing, go to our YMCA website at www.ymcaridgway.com.