What’s new Pussycats?
The Tab interviews the Birmingham Pussycats’ Cheerleading Captain, Jemma Barnes, on their recent tournament success and their close relationship with the Birmingham Lions
Tab: Could you explain what cheerleading actually is? Because I think most people at UoB have a stereotypical view of girls waving pom-poms around.
Jemma: Well we have a Game Squad who do the stereotypical cheerleading at American Football games and then we have a Competition Squad who do dance and more sophisticated routines at competitions.
So there’s obviously a lot of skill, strength and dedication invovled?
Definitely, we train three times a week including a 7am start on a Wednesday and there is another non-compulsory session. It involves a lot of gymnastic components.
Are there many bad injuries like people getting dropped on their heads?
Well, we train on a bouncy floor but obviously it still hurts if you get dropped on it, last year two weeks before a competition we had three people go to a&e with a broken ankle, a broken hand, and a cut head.
You recently had some great results at a competition, what was the comp and how did you do?
We were at Future Cheer which is a national university competition and I’ve been told it’s the biggest cheer competition in Europe. We won the All Girl Level Three group out of ten university teams which was great. We also were named Grand Champions which means we had the highest score out of all the winners of all the levels which was completely unexpected.
After the massive win what’s the next step for the squad?
We have the ICC nationals coming up which is open to ‘all star’ teams as well as university teams. It’s definitely the biggest competition of the year.
What about Xplosion, is that pretty big too?
It’s our biggest event within uni by far as it gives freshers a chance to show off their skills and also lets people’s friends come and see them cheer.
I’ve heard you have socials with the Birmingham Lions? What’s the best social you’ve had with them?
We have joint socials every week with the Lions. The main one of the year is the joint awards night we have with them in which serious and joke awards are on offer. We choose which Lions get the joke awards which is a good laugh. There’s also a first term neon social in which each Lion is strapped to a Pussycat at the ankle so everyone gets to know each other.
Do many Lions and Pussycats get together?
Yeah there’s a few current relationships and apparently some former Pussycats and Lions who were in a relationship at uni have gone onto get married!
Have you got any guys in the Pussycats?
We haven’t currently because we’re not co-ed and I don’t think we will be anytime soon, however at the sports fair some guys did come up and ask if they could join.
Any big drinkers in the squad?
I won’t name any names but there are a few, in fact I think most of us can hold our own.
BNOC of the team?
I think we all like to think we are.