Venom Allstars may be a small cheerleading gym, but the heart that is in it is huge.
This was more than proven just a few weeks ago after the conservatory gym owners were involved in a head-on collision on 429 State Road.
The owners, the residents of Dr. Phillips, Khang, and Cici Nguyen were on their way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort Thursday, April 15 to submit papers for the UCA Nationals cheerleading competition that weekend. For Venom, it is one of the biggest competitions of the year.
The Nguyens suffered serious injuries, and while this was a major concern, it was not their only one. They are also parents to three girls under the age of 3. In addition, the accident happened just days before the competition they had worked so hard to prepare their teams for.
#VENOMSTRONG K + C.
“After that first accident, our big deal was, ‘Who is going to take care of the girls? Who will break them? ‘”Said Khang Nguyen. “You are so young. … Our next concern was, ‘Who runs the gym?’ UCA Nationals is the biggest cheerleading competition alongside Summit, one of the biggest of our regular season. … We’re a small gym, so just me, my wife, and two other employees compete against six teams in the gym.
“That was our main concern: how are they going to compete without us?” he said. “Especially with COVID and all the constraints that come with it, it was on our minds like this: ‘There’s no way this is going to happen, and there’s no way we’re going to make it happen.”
The Nguyens were concerned, but the Venom Cheer Family and their two other associates – Sandy Long and Gabriella Pace – were already one step ahead of them.
Khang and Cici Nguyen’s families immediately stepped in to care for their daughters, and even older Venom members called for the opportunity to babysit and help.
Khang and Cici Nguyen have three daughters aged 1, 2 and 3 years. (Courtesy photo)
Then there was the gym. In addition to being UCA nationals that weekend, filing had to be submitted to ESPN Wide World of Sports by Friday, April 16. Then the magic and hustle and bustle happened.
Long and Pace made it their business to go to the gym in the middle of the night after the Nguyens accident to print new papers. The next day, some members of the gym went to work and went door to door filling out the papers.
“They drove to individual people’s homes – and we have (over) 70 members in our gym – so they could get it on time, and they did it all,” said Khang Nguyen. “By Friday, these children and the staff had all the documents together. Then all of our parents said, “Hey, you know what … we’re going to come to the gym and do these t-shirts.” They made T-shirts that said “#VenomStrong K + C”, meaning Khang and Cici. Parents and staff came together and we didn’t have to worry about anything. “
And it was worth it. Three of Venom’s five teams won the competition in their respective divisions. The other two also took second and third place.
“For her, it was probably one of the greatest human moments we’ve ever seen.” – Khang Nguyen
“These children – they came together; They have gathered, ”said Khang Nguyen. “The older kids took responsibility, went to the competition and said they would do it for us. … It lifted such a great deal of weight. This is our gym, this is our baby, and we started this gym with 16 athletes. … We had two teams in our first year and now we have six teams. It was amazing what everyone could do. “
Not being there for her teams on one of the biggest weekends of the year was a big challenge, especially for Cici Nguyen. Khang Nguyen said Venom was her dream and she always wanted to do it. Fortunately, her co-workers and cheerful family got together to make sure they didn’t have to worry.
“Cici and I are simple people,” said Khang Nguyen. “We just want to be coaches, train these athletes and teach them good things so that they eventually adopt these basic principles and be good people, be good people and help the world. For her, it was probably one of the greatest human moments we’ve ever seen. “
“It was crazy”
One of the first members of the gym, Sarah Ergle, started a GoFundMe to help the Nguyens with upcoming medical bills. The accident was severe and although the Nguyens are on the way to recovery it will take a while to be fully healed.
“At that point we just focused on surviving and making it,” said Khang Nguyen. “As childish as it sounds, we didn’t really think about those bills and all that stuff. … All of a sudden GoFundMe started and we got all these calls and text messages from all of my friends, all of their friends, and all of our parents and families about how much they want to help us. It was crazy. “
Khang Nguyen said there was no way he could thank Long, Pace and the Venom families enough for what they did.
“I don’t see any other community or group of people capable of doing what they did,” he said. “They all care about each other so much … and all they wanted was Cici and I to get better. … It is amazing how amazing these people are and how happy and blessed we are to have surrounded ourselves with these people. “