This article is written by Lily Owen.
With the world in confusion and nothing known for certain it’s a difficult time to focus on something as important to our lives like cheerleading. But we do and we stress about it, a lot simply because it’s a huge part of a lot of our lives.
Being from the UK, our lockdown process started in late March when gyms were shut down and showed no signs of opening back up again. With social distancing practices now slowly starting back up we have discuss all the emotions we have felt during the last 20 weeks.
Cheerleading is important to people in many different ways, to some it’s a source of exercise and social interaction to others it’s a fun competitive after school activity. However, although it’s a rarer sight in Britain, to some it’s a lifestyle. To higher level athletes who travel hundreds of miles, spending thousands of pounds to get to the ultimate competition of cheerleading there is, Worlds.
With this being cancelled early on the anxiety set in to those athletes who were prepared to fly to Florida about the future of their career, which many had spent years waiting and preparing for.
However its not only the athletes at this level who faced the upset of the affects of coronavirus in cheerleading, it’s the gym owners who face financial troubles of keeping their gyms open for athletes to return to once lockdown was lifted. They had to adapt to their methods, some beginning to teach online stretch classes to keep up interest. But for some smaller gyms they had only the grants from the government to keep them through the frustrating time.
Within the UK, one of the largest income of money in the cheerleading industry is within the aspect of youth and mini recreational cheerleading, who dont attend many competitions- if any at all. With this being said many young people are at enough stress with not being able to understand why everything was changing around them. With schools being closed, and the ability to interact and speak to their friends already being limited these athletes are at experiencing enough confusion as it was, without the added frustration of them being unable to attend their favorite activity, cheerleading.
Finally, with many bigger gyms still advertising tryouts for the 20-21 season so early in the lockdown/quarantine period, the added pressure of keeping and achieving high enough skills to get into their dream team without being in the gym for months. Because, in reality we can’t all afford mats and other at home gym equipment to practice on, let alone the fees for the virtual private’s some gyms were offering.
Cheerleading as a sport itself will be different now in all parts of the world and they will deal with it differently but we need to keep safe during this time and we need to support each other as we don’t know how everyone deals with things. So by being nice on social media and by spreading love and ignoring the rise of anonymous hate online, we will get through this together.
Although many people have been affected differently by this situation, I think we can all agree that it was, and still will be for awhile, an extremely difficult time. This being said, we are all guaranteed our share of anxieties and pressures all of which range from beyond description in this article.