In the spring of 2019, West Catholic welcomed Tinnina Atherton-Ely as the cheerleading team’s head coach. She comes to West with a vast amount of cheerleading experience and has never stopped loving her cheerleading passion.
Beginning at age seven, Tinnina became a competitive cheerleader in her teens and went on to coach in college. Tinnina attended Penn State where she cheered on the club team. After graduation, Tinnina went to the University of Pennsylvania to pursue her master’s degree in social work. While there, she had an urge to return to coaching.
“I wanted to get back into cheerleading because it’s been such an important part in my life,” says Tinnina. “When I saw the opening, I applied to the new head coach position at West Catholic.” Tinnina has high expectations for the team and hopes to create a culture that reflects that. She feels it’s important that girls on the cheerleading team take the sport seriously.
“I want the girls to see themselves as athletes—cheerleading is a demanding sport.” Creating a bond—not only between herself and the team but also between the cheerleaders themselves—is most important to Tinnina. “Growing up, my best friends were my teammates. I hope we can create this kind of culture with the team this upcoming year.”
For more stories like this, check out the Fall 2019 West Notes!