Cheerleader Ciara was devastated after a fall left her with multiple
injuries and needing reconstructive surgery. Despite the hurdle, she was
back on stage competing for a world bid within six months of having
“I’ve always been a huge advocate for sport. I started gymnastics
at the age of eight,” Ciara said.
“I represented WA in the state team and I won two bronze medals so
that was really cool, I was so proud of myself.”
After six years as a gymnast, Ciara decided it was time for a change.
Following in her cousin's footsteps she cartwheeled into the world of
“It was a huge difference, it’s like you get to show yourself off
and be all sassy and that so its good. And its more glitz and glamour."
It was on stage during a routine performance that Ciara's cheerleading
dreams came crashing down.
“When I fell, I completely ruptured my ACL ligament, I slightly tore
my MCL ligament and I also fractured my femur and my tibia, but it
didn’t really dawn on me - the significance the injury - until a week
later when they had told me there was a good chance I would never do
gymnastics again or cheerleading.”
A devastated Ciara admits, “That was the first time I cried. I
didn’t cry during the injury or anything like that, but I cried when I
found out that I had lost like a part of me.”
“I wasn’t the type of teenager that would go to parties and all
that, I spent my weekends at the gym. I didn’t know what to do with
myself after that.”
Knowing the impact this injury would have on Ciara's life, her mum decided
to have her treated privately. This meant Ciara was able to be treated by a
familiar face, her sports doctor, and avoid lengthy wait times for the
“Just from what I know from a few friends who have done a very similar
injury a year ago, they’re still waiting to have their surgery,”
Following reconstructive surgery, Ciara learnt that her squad had a chance
at a world championship bid. She immediately focused on getting back to
“It was about five or six months after the surgery I decided to go
back cheerleading. When I heard about the world bid, I decided that I am
going to go back, I am going to train really hard and I am going to go to
Determined to be back on stage, Ciara's hard work was starting to pay off.
“At the last training session before Worlds, I actually achieved a
skill that I hadn’t done since before the injury, which was a
round off backflip full twist, and I achieved that on the last training
session, so that was the biggest milestone.”
Ciara could not have predicted her injuries. Having private health insurance
meant she had the ability to choose her own doctor, avoid lengthy wait times
and get back on stage sooner.