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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Thursday, February 22, 2024

Cheerleading Club reconstituted after two years of disbandment

Tufts Cheerleading held its first practice of the year on Nov. 9, making its return to campus this fall after two years of disbandment. 

According to first-year Allie Webster, the team was disbanded because it had no coach and no one to lead the team. Webster, who said she who enjoyed cheerleading in high school, sought to revive the club and became one of its captains.

She serves as tri-captain along with sophomore Elise Gan and first-year Camille Jackson.

 "[It is a club that] we are going to build together [as a new team],” sophomore tri-captain Elise Gan said.

Assistant Athletic Director Branwen Smith-King said that the captains have shown great cooperation with the Club Sport Office in their efforts to restart the club. 

"The Club Sport Office wants to support the cheerleading squad as best we can by providing practice space, uniforms and any administrative support they need," she told the Daily in an email. 

After getting approval from the Club Sport Office earlier in the semester, Webster began to plan for the season. Webster explained that she has already held many team meetings regarding practice times, finances and uniforms. As a captain of the team, she said she leads the meetings, creates cheers and establishes the practice times.

"[My main goal for this season is to] build ourselves up and get everyone a little bit of experience [before we get a coach next year] to do more advanced stuff,” Webster said.

Webster hopes to teach participants the basics, and she hopes that as the season advances, the team can learn to do jumps and stunts.

She said that the team will be mostly cheering for the men's and women's basketball teams, unless other teams request that cheerleading perform at their games as well.

“I’m just very happy that it is all coming together," Webster said. "As long as we can cheer at games [I would] be very happy."

First-year Pooja Punukollu said that she is excited to be part of Tufts Cheerleading and that she hopes to help increase Tufts’ school spirit. She hopes to help choreograph for the club and will be contributing to the creation of the cheers.

Punukollu stressed the need to maintain a cohesive team to keep the club together, especially since low turnout at practices in the past led to its disbandment.

According to Webster, cheerleading plans to make its debut cheering at the first men’s basketball home game on Nov. 26.Gan added that she hopes that the club will cheer for both men’s and women’s basketball teams this season.

Gan also emphasized that anyone can join regardless of their gender identity. 

“I want [Tufts Cheerleading to provide] a good sense of community," Gan said. "It’s going to be a learning experience for all of us."