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Let’s all cheer together

A group of young children perform a routine with the New Richmond High School cheerleaders during halftime at the Tiger girls’ JV basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the high school gym as part of the annual cheerleader youth clinic. 1 / 3
A New Richmond High School cheerleader directs a group of young children to wave their pom poms in the air before performing at the Tiger girls’ JV basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the high school.2 / 3
Fifty children took part in many activities, including a game of “Red Light, Green Light,” as part of the New Richmond High School cheerleading youth clinic on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the high school. (Photos by Jordan Willi)3 / 3

A total of 50 children par­ticipated in the New Richmond High School cheerleaders yearly youth clinic on Monday, Jan. 20, and Tuesday, Jan. 21, culmi­nating in a halftime perform­ance at the Tiger girls’ JV basketball game on Tuesday.

“The clinic is a great fundraiser for our squad. We use the money for new equip­ment and for resources such as camps and clinics,” said cheerleading coach Markell Anderson. “The clinic is also a lot of fun for the cheerlead­ers and for the little girls and boys.”

The clinic kicked off with 50 kindergarten through fifth-grade students from the New Richmond School District, as well as St. Mary’s School, practicing their rou­tines on Monday evening before the group got back together on Tuesday to play games and have one final practice of the routine before a halftime performance at the girls’ JV game.

“During practice, the little girls and boys get to see a short performance put on just for them by our cheerleaders and then they split off into two groups, third- through fifth-graders and kinder­garteners through second­graders, to learn the cheers,” Anderson said. “Then, they learned a cheer as a large group. The cheerleaders this year will also be teaching the kids how to do some simple kicks and jumps.”

Although Anderson does all of the preparation for the clinic, she relied on eight of her cheerleaders to do much of the teaching and lead the activities during the clinic.

“I do much of the prepara­tion, including registering parents, making and sending out the flyers and advertis­ing, and purchasing the sup­plies through the cheer account, but the cheerleaders (both football and wrestling cheerleaders) ran the clinic both days and some of the cheerleaders’ parents and I help out,” Anderson said.

As part of the clinic, the students learned a series of routines that they performed at halftime of the JV game. The younger group of stu­dents learned three cheers, two of which they performed on their own and another which they performed with the older girls. The older group learned four cheers, including the one they per­formed with the younger stu­dents.

“For liability reasons, the girls weren’t able to do any stunting or tumbling them­selves, but they will get to see my cheerleaders do some stunts and tumbling like they do during their games,” Anderson said. “The girls learned the basics of being a cheerleader with a focus on the cheers. For this year, we only did the one JV game halftime show, but we are thinking about expanding this event in the future either by performing at more games, having a larger group, and/or teaching them a more involved routine.”

Even though Anderson is in her first year coaching the cheer team, she knows that the clinic is important to both the young children and the high schoolers who take part in it.

“It is important because the young kids look up to the high schoolers and this gives them a chance not only to interact with the cheerleaders that they see perform at games and to learn new skills,” Anderson said. “They also get to meet other stu­dents from other schools and, most importantly, they get to have fun. Our cheerleaders also enjoy doing it and we are able to use the money raised for the good of our organization.”

Anderson hopes to contin­ue the clinic next year, while also making a few changes and increasing the number of students they are able to bring in.

“The clinic is a winter tra­dition for us and our largest fundraiser,” Anderson said. “We plan on continuing it well into the future.”

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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