Cheerleaders at Glasgow are nothing like the stereotype

‘They should call us inspiration-leaders instead’


Cheerleader. To anyone none-the-wiser, the word possesses negative connotations: Bring-It-On style mean girls with waist-long, perfectly groomed hair which they annoyingly flick over their shoulders, while strutting about in is-that-a-belt-or-a-skirt skimpy outfits.

Maybe in America, cheerleaders are stereotypically seen as air-heads obsessed with “football” players, no-carb diets and all things glittery. But the cheerleading squad at Glasgow should be treated with just as much respect as the hockey or netball teams – and here’s why.

Firstly, cheerleading is a sport, not just a hobby. At Glasgow, they train, they work out, and they compete in national competitions in front of hundreds of people. How can people class something as inhumane as fox-hunting or trivial as car racing as sports, yet not cheerleading?

Not just cute uniforms

Not just cute uniforms

Cheerleading is also a bigger commitment than some people may think. The teams at Glasgow train for hours to increase their strength and fitness to be able to lift people just as heavy, if not heavier, than them.

Now that's co-ordination

Now that’s co-ordination

It’s a very dangerous sport. I’m sure some of you laughed when you read that sentence, but hear me out: sure, you might get hit on the shins with a stick in hockey, or thrown to the ground in a bad tackle in rugby, but in cheerleading there’s the potential to, you know, drop someone from 15 feet in the air. Or get squashed by someone falling. Either way, cheerleaders have to be tough. They make footballers, who roll around the pitch clutching their limbs after a “bad” tackle, seem like babies when their dummies fall out.

Too high for the haters

Too high for the haters

Plus, the competitions are scary. It’s like a flashback to when you were thirteen and unwillingly cast as the main part in the school play to be performed to all the parents, but worse. This time, you don’t know the parents, and there are hundreds and hundreds of beady eyes watching your ant-like self on the centre of the stage. One single, microscopic mistake can cause the whole team to lose points. Now that’s pressure.

No protein shakes needed

No protein shakes needed

And to address perhaps the biggest stereotype of all: cheerleaders are FUN. That revelation may come as a shock to those of you who think cheerleaders are too vain to enjoy themselves. If this were the case, the cheerleaders at Glasgow wouldn’t be seen in Viper most Wednesday nights – after all, we all know one minuscule step in there makes you so sweaty your face goes from a strong eight to a generous three (and that’s only when you use the right filter).

So, next time you see them on campus, don’t judge the cheerleaders. They’re pretty strong from all that lifting…