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CheerMAD Family Photo Album

Photo of Creator Lisa D. Welsh
Cheer Mom and cheerleader

When I was known as "Becky's Mom" at her first gym, Allstars featured wiglets and comps were held in high school gymnasiums.

Tiny Tot Rachel

Tiny Tot Rachel, age 3

Our Mission

CheerMAD was created to support those who support the sport of Allstar cheer: Cheer Moms and Dads.

Considered to be the number one resource in the world our children love: competitive cheer, most CheerMADs can be found in the All Star arena, they can also be found in the pop warner, recreational, junior high and high school levels. Many of these are also crossover CheerMADs.


We aren’t on the mat with our kids but in life CheerMADs hold our flyers up high, backup our backs and provide a strong foundation for our bases. The best CheerMADs give unspoken permission to coaches to take the lead in a major part of our kids' life. They don’t complain or interfere (most of the time) don’t embarrass their children in the gym or at competitions (hardly) but support the sport with their dollars and time. is a place to read and laugh, nod in agreement, speak up or shout out with other Certifiably CheerMADs.

Creator and President

As a professional journalist I’ve interviewed former presidents and sitting governors, covered Olympians and professional athletes and shadowed Hollywood A-listers and local celebrities. I’ve also written about some of the most gruesome crimes the streets of the second largest city in New England can spit out. I am Associated Press credentialed and my credits include The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Publications I've written for include Inside Cheerleading, The Atlantic, Today's Parent, Living, Senior Advocate and Jewish Chronicle magazines.

I've also become an "expert resource" about the cheer parent perspective quoted in USA Today, People Magazine, Sportico and other media.

On the other side of life’s spectrum, I’m a proud cheer mom of 22 seasons and served a term on the United States All Star Federation's Parent Action Committee. In journalism they say "write about what you know" and CheerMAD was born on June 19, 2011.  My goal was to have 10,000 readers in the first year; we had that in six weeks. Most recently CheerMAD had more than 12 million social media impressions, with the majority of posts receiving more than 250,000. 

I am honored to bring competitive cheer parents an authentic and independent news source; no more learning about the industry by eaves-dropping on your athletes in the carpool.


How I became CheerMAD

We dove into Allstars headfirst (not to mention blindfolded) after my oldest daughter Becky (now 30) attended a one-week summer cheerleading camp at 5 Star Academy--one of the first Allstar gyms in our home state of Massachusetts. The third day of camp, the soon-to-be third grader was asked to stay late and practice with one of the gym's teams.

It had always been obvious that Becky was a great athlete. She was better than average at basketball, softball and soccer. She also danced ballet, tap, jazz and Irish Step Dancing. But by the end cheer camp, when the kids showcased what they'd learned, I'd never seen my daughter's smile so bright. While she liked all those other activities, Becky fell in love with Allstar cheer.

We've never looked back.  

Over the years I have watched the tremendous growth of both my daughter and the sport she loves so much. I’ve seen first hand how dedication, discipline and determination can help a self-conscious little girl blossom into an amazing young woman.

I've also seen Allstars outgrow school gymnasiums and competitions held in the biggest convention centers and arenas in the world.

I became a Cheer Mom x2 when my youngest child, Rachel (now 20) started cheering as a Tiny Tot. She says she was motivated by two things:  Number one was to spend time with Becky and I because we left her behind every weekend while we traveled to comps. Her number two goal was to get her back handspring.

Since then, both my daughters have achieved great things on and off the mat but have had two distinctly different experiences. While Becky received her CHEERSPORT jacket the last year she competed, Rachel received it her first.

They'd both earn their NCA jackets, Becky as a coach and Rachel as an athlete, as well as many other medals and jackets. My oldest became a full-time staff member and graduated college with a psychology degree. I knew it was serious when her then-boyfriend started attending comps. I was right, they got married last year.


Becky took all she's learned in Allstars both as a competitor and coach with her when they opened their own insurance agency, she got her agent's license and they bought a house (and still helps me manage the CheerMAD Facebook page).

CheerMAD x2

 A natural born tumbler and performer, Rachel has earned three NCA and two CHEERSPORT jackets, the International All Levels Nfinity Cup (pre-curser to The Summit) a Summit ring and many National and Grand Champs sweatshirts, backpacks and medals. She was a four-season member of USASF’s No. 1 ranked team ShowStoppers. After natural progressions through Tiny, Mini 1, Youth 2 and 3, Jr. 4, Jr.  R5 and Sr. R5, and made the natural progression to a Worlds team. 

But cheer is much more than rings and jackets. It has provided both of my daughters with great opportunities. They travel like the Pros they are (nod to their gym Pro Athletics) and navigate massive airports better than I do.  They deal with pressure with flair (also better than I do). They know what commitment is and what it means to never give up; even though they both had seasons during which that is precisely what they wanted to do. They are strong both physically and mentally and know what it means to put others first.

And I've learned, being CheerMAD is so much more than cheer.

It's a way of life.


My favorite memory of all: 2011-Becky received her CHEERSPORT jacket the last year she competed, Rachel received it her first. Being together for the first NCA jacket-Becky as a coach and Rachel as an athlete has to be the second best memory.


There's nothing like NCA. Above, the first of Rachel's three jackets; below her last jacket earned with many of the same teammates as the first and second.


Rachel with her Summit Ring. 

Her teams have received Summit bids ever since its inaugural year.  In addition to  earning rings, her teams would have a couple of second and third placements and one big  blowout.


Despite being ten years apart, Becky and Rachel share the same language. Cheer is the big equalizer in our family.


Despite being ten years apart, Becky and Rachel share the same language. Cheer is the big equalizer in our family.

At $15,000 a year, the average cost of a cheer season that includes traveling at the highest level of competition, my cash flow certainly wouldn't have been so tight for the last 20 years if my girls hadn't been in Allstars.. I've heard parents say "That's the cost of a mansion, global vacations or college tuition."

My mantra is "Pay now or pay later. The time spent together is priceless and the cost of keeping them out of trouble is well worth it.

Allstars has given my daughters great opportunities. One day we'll tell the story of how Allstars saved Becky's life. In another life changing way, it has afforded Rachel the honor of becoming a poster for NCA and being a two-time Feature Model for Rebel Athletics.


The once shy girl has learned how to  present herself in public as well as be an advocate for bullying prevention. The modeling jobs helped Rachel get signed to an international agency recently.

Both Becky and Rachel's stories will be part of CheerMAD's advocacy campaigns this season.


CheerMAD daughters Becky and Rachel Then and Now

Ten years apart, it's rare for sisters to be so close but Allstars gave them that gift. Last year Rachel was Becky's Maid-of-Honor, seen here with their brother who didn't attend many comp weekends (by choice).

Cheer Sisters
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