Sisters who sparkle on PV cheerleading team

By  | 

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - The cheer team at Pleasant Valley is an inclusive team for junior-high and high-school boys and girls.

More than a decade ago it sparked a movement across the nation. And it's because of the Sparkle Effect movement, two sisters at PV are able to both enjoy cheer and share their school spirit on the same team.

The Sparkles are part of the PV cheer team and it includes cheerleaders who are differently abled.

"They are just like a varsity cheer team because they are bringing that spirit to the school and they're out in the community representing pleasant valley high-school and what it means to be a spartan," says
Head Cheerleading coach Megan Ramirez, who is also an adviser for Sparkles.

Megan Ramirez has been cheering since she was 7 or 8 years old and it's a passion she shared with her three daughters, two of whom feel in love with cheering.

"I just love the team aspect of it. You're always involved and you're always getting to be the happy part of it, you're not winning you're not losing you're always there to cheer them on no matter what," says Coach Ramirez.

She says both her youngest daughter Madi is pursing that shared passion along with her eldest daughter Morgan.

Morgan Ramirez is a senior and a cheerleader on the PV cheer team. She says while she was first introduced to cheer through her mom, that she developed her own personal passion for the sport.

"it was something I could really use to express myself because I'm not a very vocal person and I made a lot of friends through it. it was just a place that I could go and be myself," says Morgan.

And "Madi is someone I can share the love of cheer with," she adds with a smile.

Madi is in seventh grade at PV and says being out on the field cheering makes her feel "confident."

And like her big sister, Madi says cheer is fun because she enjoys being with her friends.

The Sparkles have a peer to peer partnership system. The Ramirez sister each have other partners on the cheer team.

Coach Ramirez says the peer system works within the sparkle effect because "they keep each other accountable and striving to be better not just in cheer but in life."

Morgan says she loves being able to share this experience with her sister.

"Not a lot of siblings, have a sibling with disabilities so they get to do the things they love together like go outside and run around. We don't get to do a lot of the same things together so cheer is very very fun to do together because she also loves it as much as I do," says Morgan smiling widely.

As a senior Morgan says leaving for college is bittersweet

"It makes me feel really good she doesn't have to do something that we have to be there for her she gets to do it on her own and she always tells me she doesn't want me to leave, so I know that she'll have something to look forward to every day," says Morgan filled with emotion.

The bond of being able to share something you love with someone you love is an experience and a memory that can live in a space where time nor distance exist.