When you think of Canadian sports culture, college cheerleading may not strike you as an immediate list-topping sporting event: short skirts and pep does not seem to mix well with -20 degree weather. Be that as it may, at Thompson Rivers University, our very own cheerleading squad is looking to – much like their routines – flip that stereotype on its head.
Our cheerleading squad is a thriving home to thirty girls, making it the largest team in our University. Despite these numbers, cheer is often overlooked compared to the other sports in our school.
Captain Britney Fox reports: “Honestly, sometimes the hardest thing about being a cheerleader is being over-looked by other sports, but I think that has decreased as cheerleading has grown tremendously in Canada over the years.”
In fact, Fox relayed that cheerleading has officially been recognized as a sport by Olympic standards. This recognition has motivated athletes to see the sport on a more committed and skill-developing level.
“More and more communities have started up cheer programs and continue to do so each year. Canada’s national cheerleading team has also done very well the past couple of years at the Annual International Cheer Union of World Cheerleading Championships. They placed second last year right behind team USA, so the growth is in plain sight!” Fox exclaimed.
On a local scope, TRU cheer is seemingly growing.
“The TRU team has grown into a very strong, competitive program. We now have two teams that compete at an international level, whereas we used to only have the one team,” Fox said, “This was an amazing achievement for our program. We also have been able to have Team Black compete at level 7, which is the highest level you can compete in.”
This was a huge milestone for TRU Cheer.
On top of that, Fox exclaimed that TRU Cheer has also won a full compensation bid to the ICU World Cup Cheerleading Competition, which Team Black will be attending in January of 2020.
Proud of her team’s success, she expressed her excitement to me: “This was such an amazing opportunity for our program because we earned the opportunity to represent TRU on an international stage.”
The World Cup cheerleading competition will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney Resort. As Fox said, everything was paid for in exchange for their regional competition success.
A free Disneyworld trip? Something to think about next time you think it is not worth trying out for the cheer team. If you would like to watch the cheer team in action, simply come out to a Wolfpack game where you will not miss the acrobatics directly on centre court.
If you want to take that one step further, join the cheer team for their next tryout happening in September 2020. They will additionally carry out a summer program for people who would like to try the sport before the season starts.