Trending: The other team GB

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

They've been training hard and now the Olympic cheerleaders are having their moment in the floodlights. Emily Jupp, who knows how to wave a pom-pom, reports

It seems that it's not just the official sports that are causing a stir in the Olympic Park and beyond this year. A constant, frolicking stream of cheerleaders has been soaking up the limelight, too. At the beach volleyball event, they performed dressed as 1950s beach babes with bikinis and beach balls and they've also been spotted performing flamboyant stunts in central London and by the Team GB clubhouse. Cheerleaders – male and female – have also been entertaining the crowds watching the indoor volleyball matches at Earls Court.

There are more than 100 countries that cheerlead, and 65 competed in the International Cheer Union (ICU) World Championships this year. "There is a group of American cheerleaders heading over on 5 August to cheer for the men's basketball semi-finals and finals," says Sheila Noone, who runs public relations at the ICU and Varsity, which are both international bodies that support cheerleading.

The official Team GB cheerleaders are made up of the 30 adult members of North London Wildcats. "They do everything from acrobatics to pom-pom dances," says Leah Walsh, the brand manager of the British Olympic Association, who says they will be performing around London over the next few weeks, appearing at The Mall and Covent Garden.

In the Olympic venues, you'll be treated to feats of physical accomplishment by the Ascension Eagles, based near Gallions Reach, south-east London. They've won more than 250 trophies and compete and regularly win at an international level. The British Cheerleading Association's company secretary, Collin Johnson, says cheerleading squads will be popping up at handball, basketball, volleyball and football matches over the next week.

If that's still not enough good cheer for you, check out Kristi Castlin, a former cheerleader who's now a track-and-field Olympian for the US, and the Team GB male gymnasts, who I'm told have more than one cheerleader among their number. And before you make any judgements, there is a very proud history of hot, buff, male cheerleading out there, and also, George W Bush used to be one.

SportAccord, a group of international sports federations, has just provisionally recognised cheerleading as a sport in its own right. So come 2016, we might be seeing rather a lot more of these sprightly athletes, and not just on the sidelines.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam