All set for cheerleaders contest

Kelvin Chiringa

All is set for this year’s cheerleaders contest expected to get under way this morning at Girls High School in Harare. The event will see cheerleaders from primary and high schools battling it out for the best cheerleading team, best stunts, best uniform and best cheerleader. “I am excited about the event and despite the fact that competitions of this nature tend to be tight I have hopes we will make it and I believe we are the best,” said Girls High’s Nichole Zvorwadza (15).

A considerable number of schools are expected to show up and they comprise Girls High, Morgan High, St Peter’s High, Marlborough High, Harare High, Avondale Primary, Greystone Park Primary and Tynwald Primary.

“On top of high schools we have managed to rope in primary schools as well and our vision is to include grade zeros and ECD students. All should be involved in the excitement. This year’s event will definitely be bigger and better and the most important thing is cheerleading as a sport is growing at a fast rate in Zimbabwe,’’ said the organisers.

The judges will be looking at team spirit and levels of cheerfulness, the complexity of stunts, coordination and choreography as well as confidence.

“The judges are definitely going to be focusing on a lot of aspects that include team spirit and coordination and how difficult a team’s stunts would be. This year’s event has attracted a cocktail of sponsors from the corporate world and winners must be sure to walk away with sparkling trophies, shields and food hampers,” said cheerleader Palisa Murashiki (18).

Asked whether the event would also see boys taking part in this acrobatic sport, Murashiki said it was highly unlikely.

“Cheerleading is still new in Zimbabwe and as such it is still taken as a girls-only affair but this is a mere stereotype. If the sport helps a lot in improving one’s confidence and health then definitely boys are welcome,’’ she said.

Despite it being a new sport, cheerleading has generally been mistaken for a game rather than an independent sport hence it not so popular in many schools.

“Sadly many students around the country are not part of the excitement that comes with cheerleading and the problem is that it has not been taken seriously as a sport. This is a sport that one can join full time and compete in both locally and internationally,” said Natalia Mungofa (16).

Perhaps the best part about cheerleading is that it complements other sports in that it adds colour and boosts morale for everyone attending any sporting event.

“It basically motivates everybody taking part either in basketball, soccer or rugby and we are the backbone of all sports as we cheer players on and strengthen their team spirit,” added Mungofa.

Today’s contest will see Zimbabwe Cheerleaders Association (ZCLA) picking three members from the best teams who will make up the national team which will be leaving soon for the 2016 competitions in England.