We have had some fantastic coverage in the media this season, following the publication of ‘Cheer’ on Netflix giving a worldwide audience a taste of the athletic, cut-throat world of competitive cheerleading for the first time.
First, in early March 2020, the BBC published an article comparing UK University cheerleading to what we have seen on Netflix, and interviewed several teams including our President for the 19/20 season Lily Norris!
We were honoured to be included in this article, as it illustrated many aspects of cheerleading that people don’t know about, for example how hard we are working to combat incorrect stereotypes, such as that all we do is chant on side-lines and wave pompoms while cheering on American football teams, which couldn’t be further from the athletic sport that we actually do!
Then, in April, we were the subject of articles in the Times and the Daily Mail, who wrote about our rivalry with Oxford (as is tradition!) and the struggles that both Oxford and Cambridge are facing trying to be recognised as sports by our respective universities.
The Times article, published in print and online on the 15th April, featured a large photograph of our pyramid at Legacy 2020, which we were very proud of! The article discusses our fight for ‘Blues Status’ as recognition of our competing at the highest national level for our university.
The article in the Daily Mail was particularly exciting, since the reporter extensively interviewed 6 members of our team and 6 of Oxford’s, which gave us all an opportunity to talk about our experiences of hard work, stereotyping and the ‘sporting elite’ at Cambridge who often look down on our sport.
It was disappointing to read many offensive and ignorant comments on these articles however, showing that cheer clearly still has a long way to go before it gets the recognition it deserves.
By Heather Quayle