The North Star All Stars cheerleaders are in Tulsa, Oklahoma this weekend, for the national Rockstar Championships. 

They are among 140 teams from all over the country, vying for a national title in their respective divisions. 

The athletes, boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 18, traveled Outside for the competition. According to coach Gretchen Nolan, COVID protocols are strictly followed.

“It’s super safe from what I understand,” she said. “What they do is, the teams are only allowed in there at certain times and only team families are allowed to watch. Then they have to leave.

“So they only have two to three teams in the convention center at the same time.”

Audience members are not allowed to stay and watch all the teams compete.

North Star All Stars members in Fairbanks have been practicing throughout the pandemic, she said, except for one month on Zoom, where they worked on flexibility and conditioning. And so far, no positive COVID cases were reported.

This particular competition hosts more than 2,200 athletes and about 140 teams.

These local practices have been critical to cheerleaders’ well being, Nolan said. 

“We love it because North Star is like a huge family,” she said. “I think it has really helped our kids through COVID to have the extended family, especially living here in Alaska.

The program keeps kids moving and healthy, it teaches confidence and teamwork and commitment.

“It teaches about commitment, because we can’t have full practices if even one athlete is missing,” she said.

This is the group that marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2019. They’ve been invited again in 2021.

The awards ceremony is tonight and it is held virtually.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.