What a year we’ve had! We’re back once again to show you what the Chester Vixens have been up to over the past couple of months. December was such a whirlwind. We were only in university for 2 weeks but so much happened in that short space of time!
We kicked off December with Chester Aid to The Homeless’ Sponsored Sleep Out, which we participate in every year. We were absolutely overwhelmed with the number of members we had take part this year. Nearly 30 of us took to a Chester
carpark at 10pm on a Friday night, with a sleeping bag and woolly hat. This year was tough as it rained quite heavily, but most of us stuck it out until the end (6am the following morning). It was such a grounding experience. It was tough for us, knowing we had a hot shower and warm bed to go home to, but for many people, this is their life. We ended up raising over £800 for the charity, which was fantastic!
Our second charitable event of the month was our monthly fundraiser. For the past two years now, we’ve dressed up as characters from the nativity. It’s always a laugh. This year we did it in aid of Team Unlimbited, and raised just over £100. That money went towards making customised prosthetic limbs for 4 children.
Every Friday our Sport and Active Lifestyle team put on a weekly circuit training session. It’s perfect for us as we don’t have enough time in our sessions to dedicate to conditioning. And as we all know, love it or hate it, conditioning is vital! The last circuits session of the year was Christmas themed. Our Prep Squad member Maja won a prize for being one of the best dressed attendees in her Christmas Tree outfit, and we also won a group prize for attending weekly. It was great for the girls to get some recognition for attending. After work, university and training all week, circuits isn’t the first thing I want to be doing on a Friday evening either. But to get a box of chocolates out of it, definitely made it worthwhile! As a sport so heavily based on teamwork, it’s essential that we are training to be the best we can be, not only for ourselves but for our teammates. So those that turn up week in, week out have definitely shown their dedication to the team.
In house Christmas Showcase
Our penultimate event of the year was our Christmas showcase. This isn’t something we’ve done before, as our routines are never quite ready by this point. However, we wanted to give our members more opportunities to perform before going out on the competition mat. And what better environment for your first performance than in front of your own club? Whilst the routines were still shaky, with some timing issues and bobbles, it was great to actually perform the routine to someone. From a coach’s perspective, it was handy to see how people perform and what issues we may be facing. It also enabled the athletes to realise how much work needs to be put in between now and comp. We went over the feedback from our Christmas showcase at our first session back after Christmas, and I have used that to plan our sessions between now and our first competition.
Lastly, we had our Christmas meal. It was lovely to see everyone dressed up nicely, instead of in their gym wear (how we normally see each other). Each month we’ve been awarding “Vixen of the month” to a member of each team, and at the meal we gave out medals for these. We also gave out awards to the member of each team that has had the highest percentage of involvement in the club. As a university sports team, it’s not just about the training and competitions. There’s also a high emphasis on community involvement and charity fundraising. We’ve been struggling to get the full club involved in these extra-curricular (for a better phrase) activities. It’s difficult as a committee member, when you spend a lot of time organising and planning these events, for only 10 people to participate, when you have a club of over 60 members. We came up with the idea of awarding the members with the highest involvement each term, and awarding the team with the highest involvement over the year. I’m not entirely sure it’ll improve things, but I guess only time will tell.
We kicked January off with our new uniform reveals. This is something everyone has been excited about. Whilst it has been really stressful at times it was all worth it. We look much more like a cheer team now in our training t-shirts. They may not be All Star quality, but they’re not bad for being on a budget. Big thanks to Great British Bows for the bow and t-shirt deal!
Prep Squad were over the moon with their new uniforms (which are the uniforms Cheer have been wearing to competitions for the past 5 years). They were also able to show it off at a charity showcase hosted by our Pole Fitness Society. They are from Cheer World UK.
Pom’s uniforms are due to arrive shortly. The team have already been shown the design and are all eager to receive them.
For the first time we also had a male uniform made, which David loved!
Cheer was the big one. It was difficult to get a design that not only everyone will like and afford, but one that everyone would feel comfortable wearing. We got our uniforms from Pink Fudge with a great deal. They were really affordable for a uniform. To save money however, we chose to add rhinestones ourselves. Whilst extremely time consuming, it really makes a difference. We had the whole team sit in a circle whilst our Treasurer, Hannah, begun handing out the t-shirts. Then, myself and Millie emerged from the cupboard wearing the new uniforms. We hadn’t shown anyone so we were really nervous for the response. However, everybody seemed to really like them, so we can’t wait for the first opportunity to show them off as a team. We also made a really cheesy uniform reveal video at the Eastgate Clock. For video evidence, follow this link:
Again, in our first week back, we participated in the annual Super Team. This is an event our Students Union host where all the university’s sports teams come together and battle it out over several fitness tests. This year, Cheerleading performed phenomenally. We had two individual wins. Maja from Prep Squad won the plank, with an amazing time of Five minutes and twenty six seconds, against the likes of rowing. And I myself (Rachel) won the sit and reach with a score of fifty nine. The scale ended at sixty , so I was slightly disappointed I didn’t pass that, but I hit my nose on the board, what’s a girl to do? The team challenge was to pull a truck as fast as we can over a distance of around 5-10m (my internal ruler isn’t fantastic). We chose 6 of our strongest to endure the truck pull. It was a lot easier than we first thought. We even placed 4th in the team truck pull! Again, showing that cheerleading is a sport to be reckoned with.
Here’s what Prep Squad Captain Summer had to say about Prep Squad over the past month:
“Prep Squad’s routine has been getting better and better with every performance. We still need to work on cleaning up and focusing on smiling throughout the performance. We have really enjoyed the basketball games attending both Home and Away games we look forward to games starting back up again, and the arrival of our new uniforms. Our aims for the upcoming months are to work on sharpening movements, performance faces and general fitness”
With less than two months until competition, Pom and Cheer are really feeling the heat. After the performances at the Christmas Showcase, teams are realising just how hard we need to work to repeat the successes of last season. Hopefully this shows in attendance and efforts during training. We’re really into the thick of it with university work as well. It’s really starting to take a toll on our members and committee, myself included. I’m finding myself with little sympathy now when members tell me they can’t attend training due to university work and being busy. I myself am studying a Masters degree, alongside my All-Star team, two jobs and planning the Vixens sessions also. Time management is key, and a great skill to take to any job in the future.
Join us again at the end of the month where we’ll discuss more about our facilities, sponsorship, team photos and more.
Make sure to keep updated on our Social Media platforms in the meantime
(Facebook: Chester Vixens, Instagram: @uoccheerleading).