Staff

Steve WaltersSenior Coach

Level 6 Coach/Legality Judge
Role: Club Mentor, Open 5 Team

Steve started cheerleading in 2002 at high school and competed in level 5 (now level 6) for 10 years. During this time Steve competed in Hong Kong, New Zealand and several times in the USA including twice at the World Cheerleading Championships in 2015 placing 4th and 2017 placing 10th.

He has coached since 2013 which included Open International Large Coed Level 5 for the 2016 Australian Season and 2017 Worlds Championships. Steve took a position with Action Spirit in 2017 which included assisting and running classes during Summer Camps which included three of the most successful gyms in the USA, East Celebrity Elite, Stars Vipers and Cheerforce San Diego.

Steve continues to use his knowledge of cheerleading coaching and competing at Athena Cheer Academy, being an IASF certified Safety & Legality Judge, running workshops & routine cleaning for teams and assisting his wife Miranda with Choreography.

Steve Walters

Miranda WaltersSenior Coach

Level 6 Coach/Judge
Role: Club Mentor, Choreographer, Senior 4 & Open 3NT Teams

Miranda Walters is an energetic person with a bright and bubbly personality who danced full time for most of her childhood. She has competed internationally for cheerleading in Hong Kong, New Zealand and the USA, including The Cheerleading World Championships in 2017 placing 10th.

Miranda has coached all ages from Levels 1 through to 6 and prior to having her first child in December 2019, she regularly travelled sharing her passion with teams all around Australia with workshops, choreography and judging for multiple event companies with her husband Steve.

Miranda has been a part of the Action Spirit team since 2017 which is co-owned by Ray Jasper, choreographer for the original “Bring It On” movie and Steven Belanger the Owner of East Celebrity Elite. As part of the Action Spirit team, Miranda travels to the USA during summer to work closely with some of the most experienced and successful International Choreographers and Programs in America such as Cheerforce, San Diego and Stars Vipers.

Miranda joined the Athena coaching team in 2018 and achieved two National Champions in 2019 with her Open Coed Level 4 and Open Level 2 Non-tumble teams.

Miranda Walters

Madeleine MerrettSenior Coach

Level 6 Coach
Role: Junior 2 Team

In her early years, Madeleine studied dance and gymnastics. As an athlete her highest achievements included medalling at State Titles, selection for the Border Challenge Team & representing Qld at Nationals to win Level 7 Gold. After coaching & judging gymnastics for a time, Maddi made the transition to cheerleading and in the space of a couple of short years, found herself part of a 2017 World’s Team competing in the USA.

Maddi has coached cheer for several years now taking her teams to Pinnacle & placing at States & Nationals. She is an integral member of Athena’s ‘flagship’ Mythos team and a level 6 coach.

She continues to develop her knowledge and skill base under the guidance of club mentors, Steve & Miranda Walters. Maddi’s goals are to coach a team of her own to a win Nationals & compete for Athena at World’s.

Madeleine Merrett

Krystle DaySenior Coach

Level 6 Coach/Legality Judge
Role: Junior 1, Open 4 & Adult 1NT Teams

Krystle came from a gymnastics & sports acrobatics background that had a bit of dance ‘thrown in’. She began cheerleading with the Queensland Crushers and Brisbane Bullets back in 1996 and became a member of the Brisbane Tigers when they formed a level 6 team. Her cheer highlights included numerous international competitions like Spirit Celebrations in Dallas and NCA.

Krystle subsequently retired but her ‘love affair’ of the sport continued through her coaching. She enhanced her skill base by achieving her ICU & IASF judging qualifications (Legality Judge) and currently judges for numerous event providers across Australia.

In 2020, Krystle has made a comeback as an athlete and will be competing for Athena’s Open Level 4 team. The thing that keeps her in cheer is her love of the sport and the opportunity to be integral in the development of new young athletes. She states, ‘It is a joy to see them kicking goals and achieving new skills.’

Krystle Day

Jivahn NeitherSenior Coach

Level 6 Tumbling Coach/Judge
Role: Tumble Coach All Teams

Jivahn’s childhood passion was gymnastics. He studied at the Queensland Institute of Sport finishing up as a Level 10 MAG (Men’s Artistic Gymnastics) athlete and having had the opportunity to represent Australia in his sport.
Jiv went on to become a Silver Intermediate Gymnastics judge and Head Gymnastics coach at BBC.

He found his way to cheer after that, putting that knowledge and expertise into teaching cheer athletes to tumble. Jivahn has amassed 10 years of experience coaching & works with all our athletes from 2 years to 50+. He is currently a qualified tumble judge and outside of Athena, judges for ‘Cheerbrandz’ in the competition season.

Jiv’s never ending patience and talent for coaching tumble makes him sought after both within our gym & further afield.

Jivahn Neither

Monique Griffin

Level 4
Role: Tiny Novice, Mini Novice, Mini 1 Teams

Highest Cheer Level: 4
Current Team: Retired (for now)
Key Role: Flier/base

Interesting Fact: Monique started cheerleading in 2005. She competed in both All Star & University teams. Monique began cheer as a base but wound up being a flier. At 21 years of age, she learnt to do her back hand-spring! Monique currently works as a nanny and child care educator as well as coaching at Athena. Her favourite cheer memory is travelling to Orlando to watch Worlds.

Monique’s Comments on Cheer: “I love cheer because it offers something for every athlete. The routines cater to individual strengths and give each person a chance to be showcased and shine. Cheer is great for fitness and it doesn’t feel like exercise. Cheer brought me friendships that will last a lifetime!”

Monique Griffin

Macaulay Merrett

Level 5
Role: Junior 3, Senior 2 Teams & Tumble Coach

Highest Cheer Level: 5
Current Team: Phoenix (Athena)
Key Role: Back spot or Base

Interesting Fact/s: Macaulay ‘fell into cheer’ by accident. He was recruited whilst sitting in the Athena office doing bookwork. The coach needed a male base and the rest was history. Several years later he is still cheering and loving it! Macaulay will complete his BMus at the end of 2020. He is currently learning to use ‘Ableton Live’ a music program which will allow him to create professional Cheer Music.

Cheer Goal/s: To be able to perform an elite tumble pass…Arabian through to full

Macaulay Merrett

Hayley Douglas

Level 2
Role: Junior Novice Team

Highest Cheer Level: 2
Current Team: Titans (Athena)
Key Role: Flier

Interesting Fact/s: In grade 10 Hayley was talking to a career advisor about career paths for her senior schooling years. Hayley said she wanted to be a cheer coach and was told it would never be a viable option. A couple of years down the track, Hayley joined Athena and was given the opportunity to be a volunteer coach. She jumped at it! Hayley now works in OSHC and is training to be a school teacher.

What Motivates Hayley: “I love working with kids (hence my teaching degree) and helping them grow and achieve their goals. For me, coaching cheer just makes sense. I love teaching kids and I love cheer!”

Hayley Douglas

Jayden HamiltonSenior Coach

Level 6 Tumbling Coach/Judge
Role: Tumble Coach All Teams

Jayden has hailed from a background in both gymnastics and dance. He competed MAG gymnastics at a high level and spent several years coaching gymnastics before coming to Athena.  Jayden is a Level 5 tumble coach who works with all our age groups and levels. His specialty is front tumbling so this interest has brought another dimension to our program this year.

Jayden Hamilton

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