The Stand Sports Freshers’ Guide #2: The Saints Cheerleading Club

John Lowe takes a look at one St Andrews’ fastest growing clubs…

Cheerleading II

As The Saints Cheerleading Club travelled back from the Future Cheer competition in Paris in March 2014, their only care in the world was whether the trophies they had won would push them over the baggage limit. Their success in the French capital marked the culmination of four remarkable years that have seen ‘The Saints’ change beyond all recognition. Formerly a cheer-dance group known as The Sirens, The Saints have cast aside the sports movie, pom-pom laden stereotype and have committed themselves to becoming a competitive co-ed cheerleading club with a strong focus on developing themselves as serious athletes.

There certainly is a sense of steely determination about The Saints to abandon any unflattering typecasts about their sport. Taking to club president Kirsty Gillespie, she reveals that their focus is upon ‘using strength, balance and flexibility to perform amazing stunts’. Daunting for a beginner, perhaps? Well, not quite. While The Saints are clearly a talented bunch, this hardly means that there is no place for newbies in the cheerleading set-up. In fact, most of the Club’s forty members had absolutely no cheerleading experience when they first went along to one of The Saints’ three weekly training sessions. Central to the Club’s ethos, Gillespie insists, is their tradition of turning ‘complete beginners into trophy-winning, competitive cheerleaders’ in only a matter of weeks. Tempting, right?

Cheerleading I

If you’re of a slightly less competitive disposition however, you can still easily get involved with the Club. There is, first and foremost, the opportunity to add to their 15-strong contingent of recreational members. Thanks to the Club’s regular showcase events there will be the chance to invite friends along and feel the buzz of performing in front of a big crowd! Moreover, the dangerous nature of some stunts, and the consequent need to get to know and trust fellow club members means that The Saints are hugely committed to bringing members together at regular social events. The Club can boast 100% attendance at Sinners and last year they successfully hosted a Halloween party in The Lizard – as if you needed an excuse to go!

Cheerleading IV

Under the watchful eyes of Kirsty Gillespie and Rebecca Lally, since their affiliation to the AU in 2010, The Saints have come on leaps and bounds. The Club however, is by no means content to live off their successes of recent years. The self-proclaimed ‘Cheer Family’ is constantly looking for ways to improve – this year increasing its reach into the local community by teaming up with the Active Schools to run an 8-week block of classes for St Andrews’ wee’uns. So, if you’re a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner who wants to learn a few stunts, or even if you’re just a social butterfly with a penchant for altruism, take that leap of faith and join one of St Andrews’ friendliest and fastest growing clubs!

If you like what you’ve read about The Saints, then why not introduce yourself at their ‘give it a go’ session on Wednesday 10th September? The session will be held in the gymnasium between 19 45 and 21 00. You could even pop along and have a chat at their bake sale outside the University library on Monday 8th September. If you can’t wait ’til then to find out more, you can find The Saints on the web:

Facebook: Instagram: