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Europe’s first all-male cheerleaders have been busy in training as they prepare to take on the girls in a championship.

 

Peewee Boyz from Middleton, south Leeds, 2009

 

The Telegraph
August 18, 2009
[Edited]

The DAZL Diamonds Peewee Boyz from Middleton, south Leeds, have already taken home a third place trophy at the British Cheerleading Association (BCA) international championships held in Coventry in July and hope to wow judges in the BCA Northern Classics later this year.

The squad, made up of eight boys aged between six and 12, have been together for nearly a year and have had to deal with their fair share of teasing since coming clean about their girl-dominated pastime. Peewee Boyz captain Joe English, 11, from Belle Isle, West Yorkshire, said: ”I kept it a secret for quite a while until January and then I just said ‘tease me, I don’t care’.”

Dance instructor Ian Rodley, 26, is head coach and the brains behind the squad, which he said is only one of four other all-boy teams in the world today.

He said: ”I just think it’s good to challenge who can dance and who can cheer. There’s lots in the media at the moment about girls doing sports that are predominantly male so why not boys doing something that’s predominantly female?”

But it’s not always three cheers for the boys as the youngsters said they occasionally feel intimidated by their female contemporaries. Peewee Boy Harvey Pratt, 8, from Belle Isle, said: ”It can be quite scary actually because girls are more flexible than boys. I thought we’d get lower than third in Coventry. Most of us in here are flexible as well but not a lot of us. Some of us can get in the splits and split jumps but not all of us.”

The boys have been working hard to perfect their routine, complete with a uniform of DAZL Diamonds black hooded tops and pink and purple pom poms, with the hope of taking home another trophy in the BCA Northern Classics in Blackpool on November 15.

And they said it’s not just the hard work and trophies that inspires them to carry on cheering, and they would encourage everyone to get involved. Elliott Morgan, 11, from Belle Isle, is also part of the Peewees. He said: ”I’d tell people it’s really good and really fun. It’s a good way of keeping fit and good exercise.

Team-mate Harvey said: ”I’d tell them more about it so they get into it more and might join.”

And captain Joe added: ”He’ll get teased but it’ll wear off. I don’t get teased anymore now, everyone knows about it.”

 
© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009

 

 

 
I’m captain of an all-boy cheerleading squad
 

CBBC Newsround
Joe, 11, Leeds
August 17, 2009

 

Press Packer Joe is the captain of the Peewee Boyz. Here is his report about being in the only all-boy cheerleading squad in Europe.

 

Peewee Boyz captain Joe English, 11, 2009“I started doing cheerleading as I went to watch my older sister in a competition and it looked really fun! So I joined a mixed squad and danced with boys and girls before our head coach formed an all-boy squad in January.

We are called the Peewee Boyz and are the only all-boy cheerleading squad in Europe. I am now the captain which is great especially as I was picked by the rest of my squad – it was a real confidence boost!

 

 

Captain responsibilities

Being captain means I have to look after the other boys and if they get moves wrong I guide and help them. Sometimes I also have to tell them off though which is quite hard but it is good that they respect me. The thing I like most about being captain though is that I get to collect the trophy at competitions if we win!

We train twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays after school. This is when we learn routines for competitions. Our coaches – Ian, Terry and Vicky – come up with the ideas for routines and we learn them bit by bit..

We learn a new technique and then polish it the next time we train and then learn the next move. It can take quite a long time – our first competition was in April and we had been practising our routine since January!

 

Home practice

My favourite move is the split jump – you have to jump high in the air and do the splits at the same time. Its quite energetic and I’ve practised it a lot at home.

We have our squad uniform which is black trackie bottoms and a black dance top which we wear at competitions. And our pom-poms are pink and black.

Sometimes I get a bit nervous at competitions but once we start doing our warm-up and stretches we just run on and do our routine and I’m OK.

 

Peewee Boyz from Middleton, south Leeds, 2009-2

 

Big competition

We have just won third place at the British Cheerleading Association International Championships in Coventry. This was fantastic as it is the biggest competition in Europe and we were the only all-boy squad! We had to perform in front of about six judges who marked us.

Our routine starts with us all wearing hoodies and doing street dance, then we through off our hoods and grab our pom-poms and go into the cheer bit. It is great as people just don’t expect it!

And as we are the only all-boy squad we were mentioned in the BCA programme and so everyone recognised us before we had even performed.

 

Peewee Boyz from Middleton, south Leeds, 2009-3

 

Cheering crowd

When we finished our routine the crowd went crazy and cheered loads for us!

I love cheerleading as it is really energetic and fun.

And I think High School Musical is great as in it boys do cheerleading as well as girls. Sometimes people have teased me a bit for being a boy cheerleader I just ignore them. We think they are just jealous as we are always with lots of girls at competitions and the girls really pamper us!

Our next competition is in November so I am are going to be training hard until then!”

 

Peewee Boyz from Middleton, south Leeds, 2009-4

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