American style cheer has been growing in popularity over here and it is more about pyramids and throwing people into the air than pompoms most of the time. A proper sport has grown from what started as a few skimpily glad young women on a touchline supporting a team, cheering them on to win.
In the US Cheer leading is one of the most dangerous sports with huge numbers of injuries (I'm not sure that's anything to be proud of!) mostly as the girls are keen to be held or thrown higher and higher, and with the introduction of boys into the team the girls are often tossed higher than ever!
If you don't know what I mean, check out this amazing Cheer leading competition video.
One of the problems with being a cheerleader in the UK (apart from everyone assuming you just shake pompoms all day) is buying decent cheer kit. Dance and running gear is not what you need for cheer leading. Having decent cheer trainers (white, with support but flexibility, and light weight) is important, and it's nice for a team that plans to compete or do any displays to have a decent matching uniform. And while you can wear leggings or shorts and a T shirt for practice, it's nice to have dedicated 'cheer' items. Cool down kit is also popular with the girls in my daughter's team, comfy trousers and warm sweatshirts.
|Cheer Cool down pants|
So I was delighted to find that we can order Cheer kit online from a UK based supplier. Living Cheer are based in Telford (home of several cheer competitions) They have a great range from trainers to T-shirts, even bags and cute bows and badges. We were sent some trousers and shorts for DD to try out and she loves them, fashionable and comfy, she has taken to wearing them around the house as well as to practice each week, proud to show off her sport. Living Cheer even have uniforms, so if you are thinking of starting a team (and why not!) you can get everyone into a matching kit. At the moment they don't seem to have a range of boy's uniforms, which is a shame as there are more and more co-ed teams (many boys have realised the benefit to hanging out with fit young women in short skirts, or revel in the sparkle and glamour themselves) but hopefully Living Cheer will start to stock boys kit in the future.
If you want to know more about cheer in your area try contacting local leisure centres or the BCA (British Cheer leading Association) or UKCA (UK Cheer leading Association) or Future Cheer.