Buddy Cheer recruiting more athletes for competitive team

Published: Mar. 22, 2016 at 4:43 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2016 at 10:29 AM CDT
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IOWA, LA (KPLC) - If you are the parent of a child or young adult with special needs, you have undoubtedly spent time on the sidelines before, wishing your child could participate in sports.  There is a new opportunity in Southwest Louisiana with an inclusive competitive cheer team, called Buddy Cheer.

At Louisiana Power House in Iowa, this special cheer team is putting the final touches on its competition routine.

Athletes like 18-year-old Logan Boudreaux of Sulphur say this is hard work, but it is all worth it.

"Yes ma'am," she said, "all day!"

Cheer coach, Amber Becnel, started this cheer team that pairs special athletes with a buddy, to help guide them through practices and competitions.

"We have one athlete who is three and we have Buddy, who is 26," said Becnel.

Madison Crochet is Logan's buddy.  

"I like helping people that love cheer and need help doing it," she said.

Parents, like Ann Boudreaux, say opportunities can be limited for their children and that is why Buddy Cheer means so much.

"We signed Logan up for Buddy Cheer so that she can experience the same opportunity as any other child who would want to be on a cheer team," said Boudreaux.

There are no age requirements to join Buddy Cheer and no restrictions on the level of special needs.  Even a child in a wheelchair can be accommodated in the performances.

"Any medical condition is welcomed, whether they're in a wheelchair or they can't walk, we will figure out a way to carry them," said Becnel.

This team has already proven to be a crowd favorite at cheer competitions and athlete, Buddy Vidrine, says the stage is not a scary place.

"I like it," he said.  "I love it!"

Buddy Cheer is small today, but hoping to grow with special athletes and buddies - all part of an unforgettable, inclusive experience.

"Come cheer with me!" said Logan.

Buddy Cheer practices and competitions are free.  The team practices on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 P.M. at Louisiana Power House in Iowa.  Click here for more information or call Amber Becnel at 337-304-6748.

There are also Buddy Ball team opportunities in Southwest Louisiana.

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