Arts and Entertainment

Cheering all the way to London

Central Kitsap High School senior Kelsey McFarland executes a cheerleading move during a Friday, Dec. 14 Cougar girls basketball game against Port Angeles. McFarland will participate in the London New Year’s Parade. - Rogerick Anas
Central Kitsap High School senior Kelsey McFarland executes a cheerleading move during a Friday, Dec. 14 Cougar girls basketball game against Port Angeles. McFarland will participate in the London New Year’s Parade.
— image credit: Rogerick Anas

Although the recent discovery of lumps in her breast put her travel plans in jeopardy, Kelsey McFarland will dance in the London New Year’s Parade.

The Central Kitsap High School senior recovered quickly from two surgeries, and doctors discovered that the growths were benign, allowing her trip to proceed.

“I don’t think I could have done it without all the people who supported me,” she said.

McFarland was among 12 cheerleaders selected during summer cheer camp tryouts to perform at the parade.

“They taught us a dance and a cheer and we had to perform it in front of everyone in groups of four. It was kind of nerve-wracking,” McFarland said.

Thirty five cheerleaders tried out, but McFarland is the only representative to travel to London from Central Kitsap.

She will depart Wednesday, Dec. 26, and spend a week touring the sights of London, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Windsor Castle and Oxford.

More than 1 million people typically attend the London New Year’s Parade, which winds through the heart of London. McFarland will return Jan. 2.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting people because I don’t know anyone who’s going. I’ve been to Mexico and Canada, but other than that I haven’t traveled much,” McFarland said.

The trip is organized by the London Star All Times, a varsity spirit corporation, but students who are selected must pay for the trip themselves. McFarland’s grandmother and parents helped her cover the $2,330 for the trip, and she worked to earn spending money.

The sponsors mailed a videotape with the dance the cheerleaders will perform, and McFarland made quick work of learning it.

“I practiced two hours a night,” said McFarland, who has been on the CKHS cheer squad for two years.

McFarland and her family have planned a one-year worldwide bike tour that will begin next summer. When she returns she is tentatively planning to attend Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

“I want to be a pediatric nurse anesthetist,” she said. “I want to work with kids.”

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