Team Zeta is not just your average cheerleading team. This group of young, special needs athletes is gearing up to put on quite the show on the national stage. Coming from Ohio, they’re not just planning on an incredible human performance – they’ve got a surprising twist to their routine. Among them will be Cyclone, a Golden Retriever who accompanies athlete Harrison Chmura.
Chmura is non-verbal and having his service dog around keeps him focused. “Otherwise, Harrison has a tough time getting through all the lights and sound and all the sensory input,”John Chmura, Harrison’s father, told ABC News.
“This is the first time we know of that a service dog is going to be on the competitive mat,” AJ Gamin, Cheer World Co-Owner, stated. Gamin added, “We’ve seen tremendous growth and acceleration what he’s gotten to do with the use of a service dog, so we’re excited to add a canine to the roster.”
The rest of the team is excited to incorporate Cyclone into their roster and they’re even more excited to compete at the Cheerleading World Championships down in Orlando, FL. This awesome group of children and a canine are going to be putting on a spectacular performance, showing everyone not just what cheerleading is about, but how service dogs can help change and enrich the lives of their owners and families.