Southern University Games: Edition Three: Red and White Cheer from the North

The Griffith Uni Cheer team hard at training for SUG (photo: Rix Ryan Photography)
The Griffith Uni Cheer team hard at training for SUG (photo: Rix Ryan Photography)

(This article was first seen here at Australian University Sport)

Every year, the demand and popularity of cheerleading at Southern University Games is increasing.

So much so, that this year, the competition has attracted a team from Griffith University on the Gold Coast. They are competitive and ready to have a shot at placing at the Games.

Made up of a mixture of experienced and new athletes, the men and women from the north have been training hard for their level 1 & 2 routine on Wednesday, July 9.

Team manager Letitia Fox is looking forward to seeing the team perform at their first competition.

“My expectations are reasonably high that they will do well, and I am also realistic that there will be challenges, some of our presentation may not be as clean as I would like.”

Fox has almost a decade of experience under her belt, stemming from her time as a coach, gym owner and student cheerleader at university when she attended Griffith in 2005.  There has been a heavy student and executive involvement to re-igniting interest in the sport on campus.

“We (at Griffith) had the first university cheerleading team in Australia.  When I graduated, the club did not continue, and in 2014 it has started again.

“We have an executive team of six people, and it was a team effort to put the club together.  We are still in the process of building the team culture of really strong commitment from our athletes, and we have a very committed executive committee.”

Many of the team will have to adjust from working on a sprung surface to a hard surface at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre in Albury on competition day, and it is most difficult for the tumblers in the routine, says Fox.

“Most teams train on a sprung floor, so it is quite hard for our tumblers to do their routine and flips.”

The Griffith team has two athletes that stand out as role models for the team, and both have several years of competition experience.

“We have a girl from Norway, Kristin, who’s a level six cheerleader. She is probably one of our best tumblers, and is used to tumbling on a hard floor. Our club president, Maddison Jones, is an accomplished competitive cheerleader, and her showmanship on the floor is outstanding.”

Thrilled by the challenge that awaits them, Griffith University will be hitting the cheer floor with vigor and enthusiasm on Wednesday afternoon at the Lauren Jackson Sports Stadium, Albury.


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