With HBF cheerleader Ciara gets back on stage sooner

By Tamma Kirkby

2 minutes

27 September 2019

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 surgery. 

“I’ve always been a huge advocate for sport. 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 cheerleading.

“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 necessary surgery.

“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.” Ciara explains.

Following reconstructive surgery, Ciara learnt that her squad had a chance at a world championship bid. She immediately focused on getting back to training.

“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 worlds.”

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 back 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 sessions 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.