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.”