Cheerleading is more than dancing around with pom-poms

To the Editor:
My name is Diana Colavito, and I have been attending school at Berne-Knox-Westerlo for the past 12 years. Throughout these years I’ve been able to learn a great deal and be a part of numerous extracurriculars.

To me, the most meaningful extracurricular I’ve participated in is cheerleading. At BKW, there is a fall cheerleading season for the Helderberg Valley football team and a winter season for the BKW basketball teams.

The winter season is also the time that our cheerleading team participates in competitions against other school cheer teams in Section II. This year, our cheerleading team placed second at sectionals — for the first time in BKW cheerleading history. This year, we have a strong shot at taking first place.

To outsiders, cheerleading sounds like an effortless sport of dancing around with pom-poms at games, but it is so much more than that! There are a plethora of skills involved in this activity, including choreographing and memorizing routines.

As one of the captains of the team, I can share that creating a strong two-minute, 30-second routine is harder than it sounds. The time and effort put into this sport from the coaches, captains, and rest of the team is substantial. Everyone has a role to play and it’s important that we work together to encourage school spirit at games.

The impact that cheerleading has had on my life is unmatched. It drives me to be a better leader, student, role model, and person. I have more confidence, and I have learned important life skills, like managing my time and leading others to succeed.

At practices and games, I always try to help out my teammates with whatever they need to improve on and I’m always open to constructive criticism from my coaches in order to improve and be the best athlete I can be. I wouldn’t trade the friendships or memories I’ve made with cheerleading for anything else.

When considering the budget re-vote, remember the impact that extracurriculars have on students. Cheerleading should be kept because of the impact it has made on my life and on the lives of my teammates. If we get rid of this and other extracurricular activities, our teams will lose their unity, and the school will lose its main source of school spirit.

Diane Colavito

BKW sophomore

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