I would like to begin by saying a big “thank you” to the fans for their support this season. On behalf of the Outriders, we truly appreciate it and would not make it to Grey Cup without you.
As many of you know, we sell our calendars every year to fundraise for our trip to Grey Cup. So thank you to those who purchased the 2012 Outriders calendar — without you our trip would not have been possible. With that being said, many people do not know why we are sent to Grey Cup every year, so allow me to explain.
Every year, all the cheerleaders in the CFL attend Grey Cup. We are all there to support our home team and represent our city. Grey Cup is so much more than just the game itself. Our days are filled with performances, appearances and rehearsals and can begin as early as 5:30 a.m. and end as late at 1 a.m. Needless to say, Grey Cup is not a restful vacation!
Each CFL team hosts its own hospitality suit where fans can come together, listen to live music, have a few drinks and, of course, see cheerleaders perform. We have scheduled performances at each of the suites and can perform up to 10 times a day. This may not sound so bad but believe me, this is no easy task when our performance is eight minutes long!
The routine we prepare for Grey Cup is a combination of some of our on-field dances from the season and some new choreography to tie it all together. While this can be exhausting, performing our dances for fans is my favourite part of Grey Cup.
When we are not performing in hospitality suites, we have scheduled appearances at pancake breakfasts, CFL parties, sponsored events or rehearsals for game day. One of the major reasons we travel to Grey Cup is to participate in the pre-game dance.
All of the CFL cheerleaders come together to learn the same choreography and perform on the field together. This year we performed two dances with the Arkells, who performed the live pre-game show. We were also fortunate enough to be on the field for Nickleback’s halftime show! While the rehearsals can seem long and demanding, this is such a great experience and such a great opportunity to meet girls form other teams.
Something new added to the Grey Cup this year is that all the cheer teams were able to perform on the sidelines for one quarter of the game. This was so great, not only because it was in Vancouver’s newly rebuilt beautiful indoor stadium, but because the fans were able to see what all the cheer teams do on the field throughout the season.
Grey Cup can be a bittersweet. It is a really exciting time for us and what we have worked so hard for but it is sad knowing that when the game ends on Sunday, our season is over. I would now like to take this opportunity to thank all of my fellow Outriders for making this such an amazing Grey Cup and for such a great 2011 season. It is sad to think I will not be seeing all these wonderful girls at practice twice a week or standing next to them on the field.
Thank you again to the fans for supporting us and sending us to Grey Cup. We hope you are proud to have us support your city. Congratulations to the BC Lions for your Grey Cup victory. And finally, thank you to everyone who made Grey Cup 2011 in Vancouver possible — we had a great time!