The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper


Beth Currall tells us cheerleading isn’t just for american high school girls


When the word ‘cheerleading’ is mentioned, the same mental images appear for all of us: the all-American high school girls, in tiny, midriff-baring uniforms, doing the splits and somersaulting 16 feet into the air. However, cheerleading is fast becoming an everyday exercise option and is in fact the latest fitness craze to sweep the UK.

Cheerleading routines involve a lot of dancing, jumping and lifting or, if you’re feeling particularly confident, complex stretches and flips. It therefore provides an entire body workout, making it the ideal fitness class. Cheerleaders are encouraged to work on their stamina and their muscle strength, so it is likely that a cardio workout will also form part of the session. Some classes may even require you to work with weights for a short time. So, while cheerleading is a fast way to burn calories, it also vastly improves your overall fitness.

Now, I’m aware that cheerleading is often seen as a girl’s sport (thinking back to sexist mental images), but it can be equally as fun to take part in for men! Lads are often needed to help with major lifting stunts, for example. Cheerleading is not a sport that focuses on gender, but one that revolves around team work. This makes it a perfect sporting choice for students, as it enables you to keep fit and to make a whole new bunch of friends. Just think of all of those socials you’d be required to attend!

For those of you who feel you would like to give it a go at shaking a pair of pom poms, UoM has its very own cheerleading squad. Sessions are held on Thursdays from 8-10pm, at Didsbury Sports Centre. Now’s the time to make those American All-Star dreams a reality!