LONDON, ONT. -- Cheerleading has been a big part of Elizabeth and Victoria Reid’s lives.

“I love being able to have all these friendships and going to competitions and like having all this joy,” says Elizabeth.

But the sisters have had their sport put on hold, like many other athletes when the pandemic hit.

“I miss being with my friends and I miss tumbling and getting to know and do more tricks,” says Victoria.

CheerStrike Royals trains hundreds of competitive cheerleaders in and around London.

Co-owner of the organization Jill Craven says cheerleading has become a highly competitive sport.

“It is athletic and it’s difficult and it takes a lot of training and conditioning just like gymnastics and on top of that it has this awesome bond between athletes.”

In fact, cheerleading has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an upcoming provisional sport.

However, because it’s not currently on the Sport Canada list, cheer gyms have yet to get the green light to safely open back up and train athletes one on one, even though other sports like gymnastics have been able to.

“We just want the same ability as those facilities where they are allowed to now reconnect with their athletes and are allies to get a few people in. We don’t want to do anything that’s unsafe,” says Craven.

She adds, coaches and athletes have been working together to train online, but it’s not the same when it comes to important conditioning.

“We would rather them in our facility where a coach is guiding them, even if they can’t touch or spot them which we know we can’t do for awhile, at least guiding them so that they are doing it safety and correctly.”

Tracey Reid, Elizabeth and Victoria’s mom, agrees that the athletes benefit a lot more from one-on-one training.

“It’s not same when they’re training in their bedroom and they don’t have the coaches to support them. It’s a lot different to have them on the other side of the computer screen,” says Reid.

Monday’s phase two reopening plan announced by the province, did not include cheer gyms.

Craven says the Ontario Cheer Federation is reaching out to the province in hopes cheer gyms like the one in London can be added to the list, so that the hundreds of athletes currently on hold can get back to the sport they love.