Serious About Competition: Cheer Athletics Aims to be Authority in All-Star Cheer

Craig and Tiffani Wolf have had a front-row seat to the sport of competitive cheer for years,
following their now-teenage daughter as she practiced with her cheer team and traveled to various competitions. During that period, the husband-wife duo would gradually envision a new type of training facility with the equipment, coaching and amenities to provide cheer athletes of all ages training.

“As we grew in our knowledge about the sport, we really felt there was an opportunity to take it to another level, for not only skill development for all-star cheer but for life development and teaching leadership skills,” Craig Wolf said. “We love all-star cheer and teaching life skills more than anything. That’s the ‘why’ behind what we’ve opened.”

A New Adventure

The couple reached out to Cheer Athletics based in Plano, Texas, to inquire about bringing a franchise to Omaha. The would-be entrepreneurs chose Cheer Athletics because of the organization’s track record in championship wins.

Wolf, who’s a 30-year veteran of the corporate world, comes to the new venture from C&A Industries, which dealt in the health care staffing space with its Aureus Medical Group brand. The couple underwent a seven-month vetting process before one day the phone finally rang and their adventure was off and running.

“Our family sold [C&A Industries to Medical Solutions] in October of 2019 and in October 2020 Cheer Athletics knocked on our door and said they would love to be in Omaha,” Wolf said. “We took off from there.”

The Omaha location officially opened its 30,000-square-foot training facility in February 2021. The facility offers four full-spring floors, a 60-foot tumble track, two dead floors, a full pro shop and an expansive lobby from which parents can watch their athletes train. 

Cheer Athletics takes its place among several other clubs in Lincoln and Omaha, Wolf said, but stands out due to its affiliation with the technical expertise and resources of the Cheer Athletics brand. 

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“We have resources through Cheer Athletics that makes us stronger as an organization,” Wolf said. “Having that backbone of the entire Cheer Athletics organization helps us give our athletes even more skill sets as we run camps throughout the year bringing in national coaches and having the founders come in to make sure we’re on the right track.”

Growing Sport

If you think cheerleading still plays second fiddle to other organized sports by providing entertainment on the sidelines alone, think again. Statistica reports about 3.5 million athletes cheer nationwide every year and of these, millions participate in competitive cheer, making it by some estimates a $2 billion industry. 

The competitive brand of cheerleading features teams from little tykes through collegiate athletes on scholarship performing routines that blend choreography with gymnastics. Competitive cheer is booming all over the country, still heavily dominated by female athletes, and includes athletes over a range of ages. 

The sport is also physically and mentally demanding; outside of football, the highest number of catastrophic injuries in athletics, including skull fractures, are suffered by cheerleaders, reports

 “Safety is the No. 1 priority; our staff is very well-trained in safe sport training on how to handle athletes and we have cameras all over the building. That lets athletes focus on having fun and learning the skill set,” he said.

Response thus far has been strong and the organization has already auditioned and fielded all-star competitive squads, with more to come in the future. In addition to providing practice space for its competitive teams, the facility is also the site of various cheer classes, open gym and private lessons.

“Athletes come to us in all forms,” Wolf said. “We have all-star cheer, which are the actual teams that the athletes participate on. There’s also classes; maybe an athlete isn’t on a team, but they like to come to our classes and learn a skill.” 

Promoting All Cheer

All told, Cheer Athletics employs 23, including 17 coaches, and currently serves about 165 athletes. The company is quickly becoming known throughout the state for the quality of its training amenities.

“We have had the amazing opportunity to be a home for all types of cheerleading here in Omaha and throughout surrounding communities,” said Christa Gilson, development director. “We rent out our space and are known for providing a safe facility with top-of-the-line floors. 

“Right before state cheerleading here in Nebraska, we had teams from all over our state and Iowa coming over to use our facility. For us, that’s super exciting because we’re here to make sure we can help the sport grow in our area as much as possible.”


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