The one thing people don’t understand about cheerleading is that we compete just like another sports teams. For a cheerleader competing is a major important part of what we do and train for.
Before competition it takes a lot of practice and the creation of a routine. The routine must consist of jumping, tumbling, stunting, a pyramid and ends with a dance. The whole routine only lasts two minutes and thirty seconds. This routine is then brought to competition where you are judged on your division level. At Thompson Rivers University we are level four open division. This means we are a university/ all-star co-ed team. There are a variety of levels starting at level one to six with sub-categories in each level depending if you are an all girls team or a co-ed team.
This last weekend I got to participate in a competition in the lower main land called MardiParti. At this competition there was twenty different teams all competing at there different levels. It was held at the Olympic Oval in Richmond BC.
When you walk into the building there is cheerleaders in every which way and direction with big hair and bows. Venders are lined up around the building selling cheerleading gear like bows, spandex, shirts, and shoes. The cheerleaders are so friendly and everyone wants to get to know you. It is not like the stereotype where cheerleaders are all attitude and don’t care about the other teams.
The first part of the competition starts with a quick warm up. You then move to the mat that is meant for jumping and tumbling. This mat is a sprung mat that resembles the competition mat. After you have warmed up those sections you then move to the sunning mat that is not sprung. You get approximately two chances for each stunt to put up. The last mat is a full sized mat to run the full routine minus the tumbling and jumping because it is not sprung. At each mat you get approximately five minutes and then before you hit the competition mat you get a five minute break. When you hit the competition mat you are now fitting the nerves and you are already breathing pretty darn hard from all the warm ups. The crowds go wild and cheer on the teams so loud it is a great atmosphere. You give all your sass, power, hope, and faith into the routine to hit everything. After the two minutes and thirty seconds you are dyeing, trying to catch your breath. It is the biggest adrenaline to perform.
The last part of the day is the awards. All the teams gather up on the competition mat and prey for the best. This weekend Thompson Rivers University came in first in our division. It was a successful weekend for us and I hope have gave you a better understanding of what competition involves.