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Something to Cheer

Developmentally disabled girls find special place on Wisconsin cheer team.
(WMTV)  For many little girls being a cheerleader is big part of growing up, but it's been a part that some born with disabilities couldn't join in and enjoy.

Now one Wisconsin team is making sure every little girl who wants to gets their chance.

Two years ago Lorrie Pederson signed her daughter up for cheerleading

"They were there performing, and we saw it, and they asked for participation, and Belle went up and followed all the things and absolutely loved it," she says.

She was happy her daughter Belle would be able to showcase her abilities and not her disabilities.

"Belle was diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome. The difference is she learns a little differently than her classmates at school," Pederson explains.
 
The team is called Arctic Blast.  It's a special needs cheer team created and coached by Heather Lee.

"It was really important to me to give all kids the ability to learn cheer, work as a team, be independent and grow," Lee says.

The team is open to all disabilities.

The nine athletes work with mentors to help them through their moves at competitions.
 
Over the years, Arctic Blast has won medals and trophies, but there are greater things the team's been awarded with.

"There were so many people in the crowd, and everyone gave us a standing ovation, and it was just," Lee says.  "It's so great to have everyone support this team."
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