The day started early with makeup being done and perfected at 5am, because I was at Homerton, a college quite far out, I got a taxi with the other cheerleaders at my college to the coach. Despite the early start, I was full of energy, I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first ever Varsity and Cheer competition, but I was definitely excited. Once all boarded onto the coach, we made our way to Manchester which is where Future Cheer was held. The 4-hour journey flew by and we arrived at the venue. The atmosphere was buzzing as teams poured into the arena and suddenly everything became so real.
We were seated quite close to the stage and had a clear view of teams who were already performing. The standard of routines was certainly high and performance after performance I was impressed. After we had settled, we proceeded to change into our cheer outfits and perfect our makeup in the bathrooms. We then had to wait an hour until it was our time to use the warmup mat to prepare for our performance.
It then reached 11am and we were called to warm up, as we left the arena and entered the backstage, we conducted our ceremonial pre-warmup routine which consisted of 100 star jumps. Our coach then led us through our routine, and we hit every section. It was when we were lining up to enter the warmup room that a member of our team had a nosebleed. Because of this, our warmup time was pushed back a couple of hours.
Once time had passed and we were called to warmup again, we repeated our 100 star jumps and ran through our routine in the warmup room. After this, the presenter called out ‘Cambridge Cougars’ onto the stage to perform. We held each other’s hands and ran onto the stage waving and cheering at the crowd. We were ready to perform. The music started and our routine came alive, I could feel the energy and passion from my fellow cougs. Everything was going so well until the stunt section where we had a small topple but the comeback was immaculate, and the routine was perfect till the end. The final shout of ‘Cougars’ at the end filled the arena and we received a wave of claps and cheers from the audience. At that moment I was so proud of the team, we had performed our hearts out and I couldn’t be happier.
After all teams had performed, it was time to announce who had won Varsity. The Oxford captain stood up and announced that Cambridge Level 1 had won their Varsity. Everyone got up and clapped and hugged, we were all so proud of each other and the handwork we put into our routines. We then celebrated at Sunday Life, a club in Cambridge, where we danced until early hours.
By Chi Ebodili