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Power Cheer: celebrating 10 years in a business grown from a sporting passion

Power Cheer: celebrating 10 years in a business grown from a sporting passion
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Power Cheer: celebrating 10 years in a business grown from a sporting passion
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

We aim to cater for many businesses sectors at our Capital Space business centres, so when Power Cheer chose to expand their Chelmsford branch from within our Waterhouse Business Centre , we could not have been more thrilled. We spoke to Power Cheer’s founder Sydni Hall to hear about her business story, her tips to striving forward when the going gets tough, and what it feels like to grow your passion into a thriving business which is celebrating 10 years. We think this community-based business has an inspirational message for anyone thinking about starting a business from humble beginnings.

What is Power Cheer?

The Chelmsford based business Power Cheer offers boys and girls aged 5 years to 18 years regular cheerleading, gymnastics and dance classes during term times and holidays. Their sister branch, based in Maldon, was where the company was originally founded 10 years ago, by owner and ex-Team England 2015 cheerleading member Sydni Hall. She explains:

“We offer classes to boys and girls of all ages, six days per week and have a team that offers both fun and hard work, as we want the children to meet their potential. I have 300 members across both locations and a team of coaches, some of whom I’ve worked with or trained with over the years, and so we offer great consistency across all classes. It’s great to have some of the older members now train to become coaches too, in the way I did.”

How did it all begin? Why cheerleading?

The athletic nature of cheerleading was the appeal for Sydni while she was in Year 8 at Boswells School in Chelmsford, and so she trialled for the school team. Sydni reflects:

“I didn’t make the school team in the first year, so I joined the development squad, which practised in lunchtimes, determined to get onto the main cheerleading squad the following year. It quickly became a passion for me; I found it incredibly physically demanding and it incorporated dance and discipline, which I really enjoyed. The following year, I made the team and then everything progressed from there and I ended up in the world championships! Hard work pays off.”

Transition from learning to coaching

On making the school team, Sydni sought extra coaching and joined an external club, training three days per week, which also led to her wanting to venture into coaching. Sydni expands:

“As I got older, I started working for the team coach I was cheerleading with and worked in schools in London and helped on conferences and exhibitions, such as Move It, to see and do everything I could in the industry. When it came to coaching, I was fully versed in all areas of the cheerleading coach as I understood it from both sides. It really helped me to develop my coaching style and to motivate children who came to the club.”

Starting a business

In 2013, after the coaching club that Sydni trained with disbanded, she decided to set up a class in Maldon , on a Friday night from a local hall, to provide a new club for local children. These were the humble beginnings of Power Cheer.

“Uptake was slow at first but after a few months, the club started growing from 4 members to 40, and I moved premises, hiring a sports hall to put on an additional gymnastics class. Then I recruited a new coach to help, and we added a third class.

“I wanted to start a competition team to get better at coaching, which required more commitment from students. It involved a lot of hard work and dedication from the children in terms of training and growth. And now some of the children I coach have been successful in getting into Team England, and two of my athletes last year became world champions.”

Why choose Capital Space as your second venue?

“An old teammate of mine from Boswells had started a team in Chelmsford and I took over from her and brought it under the Power Cheer brand; effectively starting it from new. Some Maldon members came to Chelmsford for more classes, and now we’ve grown the timetable to compliment the Maldon and Chelmsford divisions, which also meant we’d outgrown our existing venue.

“Chelmsford is an expensive city to rent in, especially for the type of space and height requirements needed to run the club. I was recommended Capital Space by one of the parents and decided to move to our new premises in June this year. Coming to Waterhouse Business Centre has given me greater control over my expenses as I can budget easily with the monthly licence, and I have the facility to manage how I like and be creative in how I expand our offering. The only other overhead I have is for staff,” explains Sydni.

What business advice would you give others, and what do you think is the secret to your success?

Sydni says, “When running a business, you can sometimes feel down and that you are not good enough. There are lots of barriers to get through and lots of work to get done. Be ready for the downs and don’t give up. If you want it bad enough you will get there. I’ve had to learn everything – marketing, accountancy, PR, operations. It’s been difficult and now I’m a mum of two, so I also need to juggle and work around that role.

“I try to roll with the punches. During Covid-19, I ended up running classes remotely and, when it was safe to, I had 100 children attending classes in my back garden per week for three months! I had to adapt and have a positive outlook. It would have been all too easy to give up and throw in the towel, and yet 10 years later, I can give jobs to 11 members of staff and offer a club for 300 children.

“I consider consistency in the way we coach here at Power Cheer to be the secret of our success, as we share the same passion and same love for the business. It’s very special in itself.”

What next for Power Cheer?

“I have started venturing into soft play and birthday parties, but further into the future I’d really like to expand to offer tailored classes for children with learning difficulties and special needs to give more to the wider community,” says Sydni.

“With the cheerleading, I already have some Team England athletes now – I’m so proud of them. There is a governing body being set up and hopefully in a couple of years’ time, we’d love to be part of the Olympics.”

Achieving 10 years in business from start-up and coping through a pandemic – plus raising a young family – has only helped to shape business owner Sydni Hall, and drive her determination to make Power Cheer survive, no matter the odds. She is an inspiration to young people who have a passion and want to give back to their community.

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