Meet Team Elite

Our coaching staff are all experts in their chosen field and have all completed their Working with Children Check and coaching credentials. 

Our qualifications reflect the various styles offered accreditation being obtained under various governing bodies including Gymnastics Australia/Victoria and International All-Star Federation (IASF). 

LAUREN BIRD

Director/Owner
IASF Coaching Certification Level 2 

Lauren started dance at the age of 5 and continued for over 30 years. Lauren has danced in many performances including the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Grand Prix and Rock Eisteddfod in which her school placed 2nd.

She is married to Cam (known as music man Cam to our athletes) and a mum of two girls who both enjoy dance and cheerleading.

Lauren enjoys working with children of all ages and promotes a safe, encouraging and fun training environment. Her favourite part of being a coach is seeing the excitement on the athletes faces when they achieve a new skill.

Lauren currently competes on the Adult Pom Team and absolutely loves it. 

Lauren has a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management).

REBECCA RIOS

IASF Coaching Certification Level 3, Gymnastics for All Intermediate Coach (Gymnastics Australia)

Rebecca had danced jazz and contemporary for 20 years before stepping into the cheer and gymnastics world. Her love of performance has lead to national and international performance gymnastics opportunities including representing Australia in Norway at the 2017 World Gym for Life challenge as a part of the Gymnastics NSW Performance Team.

Rebecca loves coaching athletes of all ages and enjoys passing on her love of cheer to her students. She is passionate about creating a safe and relaxed atmosphere in the gym where fun, fitness and friendship are essential.  She has been coaching for the past 3 years including running a cheer and gymnastics club in NSW before moving to Melbourne in 2018. She is an accredited USASF Cheerleading coach and Gymnastics for All coach with Gymnastics Australia. Rebecca also competes on the Adult Pom and Adult Hip Hop Team.

Rebecca has completed a Bachelor of Arts, Cert III Administration and Cert IV Bookkeeping.

KATIE SAWFORD

Looking to continue her passion for dance in a new direction, Katie entered All Star dance when she started University in 2014, with the Monash University Cheerleading Club. She was Treasurer of the club for a year and then President for 2 years. She was also a founding member of Pacific Elite (Mystics). Since then she has competed in pom, jazz and hiphop, including duos at many competitions. She has competed at 5 World Championships, including 2 University World Championships. In 2018, Monash was selected as Team Australia for pom, jazz and hiphop, and they took home a silver medal in all divisions. Last year, she represented Australia at the ICU World Championships, and along with her team placed 2nd at The Dance Worlds’.
 
Katie began coaching the Elite All-Stars Adult Pom team in 2018 and is excited to back for another year with Elite.

ALEX RIGONI

IASF Coaching Certification Level 5

Alex has been cheering since 2015 and has come from a gymnastics and dance background. Alex has been on a wide array of levels starting on level 2 and making it all the way to level 6.

Alex returns to Elite after running and being the head coach of the Deakin University cheer program in 2022.

Alex is very much looking forward to returning to Elite and using all his experience to help better his athletes.

 

Alex has completed a Diploma of Nursing and is currently studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. Alex hopes to be able to use all his medical knowledge into providing the best support to his athletes.

Alex currently competes in Cheer and Dance.

RACHEL MALTZ

IASF Coaching Certificate – Introductory Level

Rachel has been an athlete at Elite since 2018 and became a junior coach in 2022. Rachel loves working with kids of all ages and enjoys watching them progress and learn new skills.

Rachel will be returning to the competition floor in 2023 after a 12 month break as well as continuing to expand her coaching role. 

 

Rachel is studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences.

KIRSTEN WILSON-EVANS

IASF Coaching Certificate – Level 2 

Kirsten has been involved in Cheer and Dance since 2015, and coaching since 2019. Her career started with Monash University, training in both cheer and pom, later focusing on cheer at Melbourne Cheer Academy. Kirsten has competed internationally including at the world championship in Orlando, Florida in 2022, and the 2021 IASF virtual world championships where her team placed 4th. She is particularly passionate about coaching lower-level cheer and breaking down skill progressions.

Outside of cheerleading, Kirsten has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) as well as a Juris Doctor, and works as a business development professional in the legal industry, and loves running ridiculously long distances. 

AMY CITROEN

IASF Coaching Certificate – Level 3

Amy began dancing at the age of 2 and hasn’t stopped. Having dance recreationally, competitively and professionally throughout her life. She is the 2019 Follow Your Dreams Masters Jazz Soloist National Champion and Masters Contemporary Soloist Runner Up. She has trained in Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Pom, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop, Acrobatics. Contortion, Aerial Silks and Aerial Hoop with teaching experience spanning 18 years including 10 years as a studio owner.

15 years ago Amy was introduced to the world of All-Star Cheerleading and had to be apart of it. She has a strong focus on injury prevention & mental health, supporting athletes of all ages to be confident, strong and courageous while having fun. 


Outside of the gym she is a Mum of two teenagers with special needs, works as an Assistant Early Years Educator and enjoys hiking on the weekends with her husband.

Amy holds a Certificate 3 in Recreational Activities (Dance), Certificate 4 in Dance Teaching and Management and is currently studying a Certificate 3 in Early Years Education and a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Nutrition.


OLIVER RAKKHIT

IASF Coaching Certificate – Level 3

Ollie started cheer in 2016 after watching his cousin compete at a cheer showcase. He fell in love with the sport almost immediately and signed up two weeks later, despite the fact he didn’t know anyone on the team. His love for the sport continued to grow over the years, starting at level 1 and going all the way up to level 6. The highlight of his cheer career was winning National Grand Champions on a 4.2 team.

Ollie joined Elite in 2019, (back when we were still in the hall), and quickly became accustomed to most of the athletes at the club. He is particularly passionate about coaching tumbling and loves helping others achieve their goals.

Ollie took a break from coaching in 2023, wanting to focus on other areas of his life. However, he came to realise that he dearly missed coaching cheer and the people at Elite. He is now back in 2024 more excited than ever to be with us.

FRANCESCA WOOD

IASF Coaching Certificate – Level 2

Francesca began cheer when she was 11 years old and has loved it ever since. This will be her 5th year coaching and she enjoys every second of it. She prioritises making a safe and fun environment for all athletes to feel welcome in and be their best selves.

After taking a break from coaching in 2023 to compete her VCE, she is now back coaching and competing with Elite.

Francesca is now at Monash University studying Primary Education/Arts.

EVIE VAMVAKARIS

IASF Coaching Certificate – Level 1

Evie is a long-standing athlete at Elite, now spending her 6th year with us. She has always wanted the opportunity to coach and love to help her fellow athletes better themselves from the start. This is Evie’s second year coaching with Elite and she doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Outside of cheer Evie has a wide array of performance experience, including school and professional theatre productions. 
 

Evie is currently on our Level 2 Non-Tumble team and looks forward to helping athletes develop their skills.

FREYA KITNEY

IASF Coaching Certificate – Introductory Level

Since Freya first began competing at Elite in 2017, she always aspired to be a cheer coach. She is eager to mentor many young people and introduce them to the wonders of All-Star Cheerleading. Freya was part of the Elite team that won the 2021 National Championships. 
 

Aside from cheerleading, Freya is an active life saver at ISLSC and currently holds her Bronze medallion and IRB crew qualifications. She also enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and watching movies.

This year Freya is eager to take on the role of coach and aspires to develop both as a coach and an athlete.

Freya currently competes on our Senior Level 3 team.