The sport of cheerleading is not the stereotypical ditsy, pom-pom throwing, activity that most people believe it to be. It is actually one of the most dangerous sports, accountable for many injuries, as it involves dancing, gymnastics, and stunts – throwing and catching human beings.
As co-captain of the University of Ottawa MedGames cheerleading team, Kara spent hours painstakingly designing the choreography for a two-minute routine, including single-handedly creating and teaching the dance sequence to all of the girls on the team. She made sure everyone on the team would be able to showcase their talents, have a part in every role, and that everyone would have the opportunity to shine.
Kara also stepped up and took on the challenge of being our “coach.” She physically partnered up with each of the stunt groups and physically showed them how to lift and throw – and she never complained. Kara was always the first and last person at practice, and must have spent three times as much time thinking about the team outside of practice. Kara is a tough coach, but everyone on the team would admit that she is our “cheer mom.” At the end of every practice, no matter how good or bad, she would spend a couple of minutes for “goals and appreciations” to finish on a positive note.
Meanwhile, she continued also to be a great student and a very helpful colleague. Anytime we had a question about school work, electives, concepts, or anything related to student life, she was willing to answer.
At MedGames last year, we were the first and only non-Quebec team to ever compete. Odds were against us, as we had no coach, no uniforms, or funding, but somehow we came in third place. Kara’s passion for cheerleading and determination to have others learn to love our sport is clear. Our team members would all agree that being on the team was one the best experiences in our medical school careers thus far, and this is because of Kara.