Like many, I had a respect and appreciation for Nicole Woodum, known for years as social media's CA Mamakat (the wise, tell-it-like-it-is cheer mom of a Cheer Athletics' Cheetah and Panther). Except, I didn't know Nicole and Mamakat were the same person.
I read Mamakat's tweets and Fierce Board posts and knew she had vast knowledge of the cheer industry, was admired for her positive and uplifting posts, for her candidness and passion for all things cheer and her children. I knew Nicole as my friend Ryan Sundquist's beautiful, upbeat, beaming girlfriend/now fiance. I also admired her for her positive and uplifting posts, her candidness, passion for all things cheer and her children.
Last week when I read Nicole's Facebook post about the importance of "Showing up" as a parent, I asked her permission to repost it on CheerMAD's Facebook page.
After a bit of talking back and forth, I felt silly when she mentioned that she used to post a lot on social media as Mamakat: how could I not know that?
Well, lucky for CheerMAD readers, now I do. More importantly, I've convinced Nicole to resurrect "Mamakat" which she had retired this year after her daughter Makenzie (MAK) left All Star competition as an athlete (although she now is a coach for Woodlands Elite Cheer Company with five locations out of Houston, where Ryan -seen here with Nicole- also coaches and is the gym's brand manager).
Nicole debuts CheerMAD's "Ask Mamakat" a social media advice column with the sub-title "Living the Cheer Life" with freedom to write about topics that are important to cheer moms and dads. I've always intended to have an advice column as part of CheerMAD's code to support cheer moms and dads, but hadn't had the opportunity to do one until talking with Nicole. Her first blog post follows an introduction of Nicole's credentials: the answer to Suzy's Mom's inevitable outburst of "Who the h&ll is she?" (something we had a good chuckle about because we've both been on the receiving end of that exact pseudo-question. More than a few times).
Well, this is who the h&ll Nicole Woodum, aka CA Mamakat is, in her own words:
I've been in the cheer industry going on 16 years now -15 of those years as a cheer mom and six of those working in the cheer industry. Formerly with Nfinity Athletic and Illusive Apparel, I still work in the industry as the national sales director of A Finishing Touch, out of Houston, Texas. AFT is the premier manufacturer of hair accessories for cheer, dance, and gymnastics across the country.
I served on the USASF Parent Action Committee for two years and wrote several blogs for other cheerleading media sources. I also judge junior high and high school cheer tryouts near my home in Texas.
To say “Cheer runs very deep in Nicole’s family” is an understatement!
My fiancé, Ryan Sundquist, is a former Clemson and University of Louisville cheerleader who won his first Worlds title in 2010. He was also named as one of the industry "Top 35 under 35" and worked for eight years with Varsity. Before making his move to Houston, he was the brand manager at Nfinity Athletic.