This weekend I competed with my cheerleading squad London Cheer Elite, so I thought I would use this Workout Wednesday to introduce you to the world of UK Cheerleading!
First things first – no I do not cheer for a football/rugby/basketball team
, I cheer for a competitive cheerleading team and yes, it is a sport.
I am in a group stunt which is different from full squad in that there are only 5 of us and we only do stunting (i.e. throwing people in the air) – no jumps, tumbling or dancing. Thankfully, I’m one of the people doing the throwing, not being thrown!London Cheer Elite had one other group stunt and also a full team competing so it’s always fun watching and supporting each other.
1. Barely broke a sweat
2. Too out of breath to sing along
3. In the zone!
4. Couldn’t move the next day
Give me a F…4! There are 6 levels of cheerleading and I compete at level 4. The great thing about cheer is that there is such variety that there is always something new to learn. Being in a stunt group, you need to learn to work together as a team as well as perfecting your own individual technique. It is a dangerous sport and injuries are inevitable but when everything comes together, it’s such a great feeling!
1. I would rather be in bed
2. Glad I tried it once
3. Such fun!
4. Sign me up now
4 again. Learning new skills is always really exciting but competition is my favourite part of cheer. It’s a fun atmosphere despite the nerves/adrenalin. And now you’re asking ‘Is it like Bring It On?’
It actually is…but much friendlier 😉 Here’s a routine from Nationals last year:
The Fine Print
For me, cheer is kind of a mix between gymnastics and weight lifting…I train once a week with my team and we compete 2-3 times a year. Next stop, Nationals in Bournemouth! If you’re interested in trying it out there are quite a few teams in London (cheer is a much bigger deal in the UK than you think) or you can let me know if you’d like to come along to LCEs summer stunting sessions. Complete novices welcome!
As cheerleading becomes more popular in the UK, the challenge is to get the general public to recognise it for what it is – a tough, demanding, rewarding sport which produces some excellent athletes. Do check out some videos on YouTube and share them! Team England are particularly inspiring.