When thinking of what cheerleaders do, stunts, cheers and tumbling are usually the first things that come to mind. But Sara Jones, coach at Apollo High School in Owensboro, KY, reminds her cheerleaders that there is much more to cheerleading than the skills.
“Remember, there is always a little girl in the stands watching you and wanting to be just like you. Don’t disappoint her. Cheer every game as if it were your last.”
That was the quote that Jones posted on Facebook along with the picture included in this article. She wanted to encourage her girls to always be the best representation of themselves and to have a positive impact on those around them. Apollo High School gets involved with their community by hosting “Elementary Spirit Nights,” inviting elementary school children and parents to attend a football game for free. During the third quarter, the children are allowed onto the field to cheer alongside the varsity cheerleaders. While the kids are using poms, signs and learning cheers, it is evident that they look up to the varsity girls and try to learn from them.
A lot of schools have similar cheer clinics or games that involve younger children in the community, and if your team is not involved in one of these activities, consider starting one up in your area. I always remember being “wowed” by the cheerleaders when I was in elementary school. In fact, I could not take my eyes away from them as they cheered and stunted while keeping bright smiles on their faces. Whether you realize it or not, as a cheerleader, you are placed in a leadership position and people look up to YOU!
You never know how much something small like cheering alongside a second grader on the football field can impact their life. Be the person that little girl thinks you are and you can really make a difference!
by Allison Terrell