This week NTU and British University Collage Sport are championing women with the This Girl Can campaign. NTU are hosting a number of free trial sessions exclusively for women, to champion women in sport and to provide a different form of exercise other than solitary gym sessions.
One of the champions of women’s sport is NTU Cheerleading Club, over the past four years their subscription base had almost double in size, adding a new competition squad, a performance squad and a varsity squad to the set up. In addition they have won four national championships and have seen their reputation in university sport grow as well.
Platform magazine profiled NTU Cheerleaders, the Trent Tigers, to find out why they’re the biggest sports club for female members, and what sport means to them.
“What makes cheer leading different is that it brings girls together, it is a proper team sport, you have to get along with one another and to be a family, which Tigers massively are.” Scarlet, 3rd Year Cheer Assistant Coach, on why Cheerleading sees so many women subscribe each year.
The Tigers family extends beyond the routine in competitions, “if we’re doing conditioning, if someone doesn’t do a squat jump, everyone has to do it again because we’re a team, everyone is a team and everyone is together” says Amy, 3rd year Cheer Vice-Captain.
“I met all of my friends through cheer, if I didn’t have cheer I wouldn’t like Uni as much…a lot of the girls live together, I live with four cheer girls.” Scarlet told us.
The family spirit was clear to see when we went along to their training session, with everyone cheering each other on as they tried different stunts. Especially seeing the level of technicality that goes into a stunt, it was great to see the support, but what we didn’t see and what a lot of people don’t see is the hours of hard conditioning and strength work that goes into every flip and twist.
Noting all the effort that goes under appreciated in the cheer squad we wanted to know, why do it? What does sport mean to them?
Amy told us “From a Uni perspective, it gives you a whole new group of friends, and it keeps you active; if you’re in your final year sport could be your down time to help with the stress.”
“Meeting people who are going through the same thing as you are, all of you experiencing living away for the first time, trying something new and meeting new friends together is great.” said 3rd Year Cheer President, Sophie; continuing, “It’s about having a positive downtime as well, having something to do together is rewarding.”
Talking with Cheer, Sport clearly changed their way of life. Allowing them to be part of a family and providing a fresh perspective on their fitness; not only improving their health, but also their mood and outlook on university life.
Trent Tigers are truly one of the best sports for female participation and inclusion, and a champion for the women of NTU.
By Olaolu Fisayo