On Sunday the 6th of March, Durham University gave us a day full of smiles, tears and cheers. The Durham University Intercollegiate Cheerleading competition finally came to fruition after two years of disruption due to Covid-19.
The day itself started bright and early for the competitors in the morning session, with performances from the fabulous Poms and all-girls teams including Phoenix (Stevenson and John Snow), Grey, St. Johns, Hild Bede, Grey and Wildcats (St. Cuthberts and Hatfield). Fast forward to the afternoon session, Butler Tigers and Collingwood joined the cohort, keen to take part in the action.
My day, however, started bright and early after a restless night full of anticipation, ready to go and take on the day. Whilst the cheer competition itself was fabulous, I can safely say that the 45-minute walk down to Hild Bede from my college was the most tedious part of the event!
As a Butler Tiger myself, I can safely say that the run up to the competition has been a tough ride, being all new cheerleaders ourselves, with an exec made up of only first year students. It goes without saying how proud I am to be a Tiger, and thanks to Captain; Maisie Horrocks, Vice-Captain; Faye Yeadon and President; Jess Ball (as well as all of my other fellow Tigers), we managed to secure first place in the co-ed full team division, leaving us all speechless and in tears, with our routine having only been learned three weeks ago.
Besides the Tigers, performances from Phoenix, Collingwood, Trevelyan, Hild Bede, St. Johns and Wildcats were excellent, with complex stunts and wonderful tumbling. Even being able to watch a portion of the competition was fantastic, as each team came together to ‘cheer’ on and support their fellow Durham cheerleaders.
Besides the brilliant collegiate teams, our gracious hosts, the Durham University Divas, were more than accommodating in taking us around Hild Bede and being both fabulous hosts and judges as the audience and competitors alike were treated with performances from the amazing team.
Soon after the performances had taken place, the Divas organised mini competitions and games, showcasing each college’s incredible tumbling skills against that of the Divas themselves! This along with a huge ‘dance break’ was orchestrated by the Divas, that I, as well as many other competitors, took part in, which with no question is incredibly embarrassing to watch back, as I, as well as a few of my fellow Tigers, attempted a Tiktok dance amongst the other cheerleaders!
Following this short interlude, the most lip-biting and anxiety provoking part of the competition was next- the awards. The room was filled with all the cheerleaders of the day and audience members, awaiting anxiously for the results.
After what felt like an eternity, the Divas revealed the results…
Coming in at first place for best choreography was Grey College, with Hild Bede winning the Spirit award for this year’s cheer competition. Phoenix stormed the competition this year winning the Poms division, the all-girl stunt group division, and the highest scoring routine. Following this, Hild Bede won the co-ed single stunt group award, and finally Butler Tigers won the co-ed full team division. Overall, this year’s competition was an exciting contest full of fantastic stunts, wonderful dancing and smiles galore!
A final comment I would leave about competition day would be this: I am very thankful and grateful as a Durham student to have the opportunity to be a part of a squad such as the Butler Tigers. Besides performing amazing routines, cheerleading this year has given me an amazing support network, with amazing friends to rely on whenever I need anything.
For anyone reading this who has ever thought about joining any of the cheer squads at Durham University, I would strongly and undoubtedly recommend it. You won’t regret it one bit.
Featured Image via Butler Tigers Cheer Squad, Durham University