Is it sexist to have Newcastle Knights cheerleaders? PHOTOS, VIDEO Go Knights: Cheerleaders Therese, Georgia, Renee and Rhiannon at Hunter Stadium.
Newcastle Knights Cheerleading Team director Alex Tsambos (centre) with her stars.
TweetFacebookBrand AmbassadorsShe said cheerleading work was “about communicating and representing brands”.
“The majority of clubs back their girls 110 per cent because they know they do more [than cheerleading]. They’re part of that game-day experience.
“Little girls coming to watch the footy with their dad, brothers and mum – they run up to the cheerleaders.
“It’s a family thing. We bring that side to it.”
Off the field, the girls do charity appearances.
“The wider world thinks it’s a sexism thing, but we see it as working in a job like anybody else.”
Alex said Knights cheerleaders train four to five hours a week, as well as performing on game day.
They are taught to shut down any inappropriate behaviour towards them.
“They’re not just cheerleaders standing on the sideline with their pom-poms.
“We refer to them as ambassadors for the Knights on game day.”
As well as performing at half-time, they chat with and rev-up the crowd.
They also attend the Knights Fan Zone outside the western entrance of Hunter Stadium.
In this area, the girls dress more conservatively, hang out with kids and take pictures with fans.
“They get to meet the fans and know kids by their first name,”she said.
Once the game kicks off, the cheerleaders have the same passion asplayers and fans.
They want their team to win.
Auditions for this season began in December with more than 50 girls trying out.
This has now been reduced to a shortlist of 28 girls.
The final squad of 22 will be named in coming weeks.
“We like to make sure we have the right girls for the position,” Alex said.
The girls must show that they will love to cheerfor the team.
“They’renot just there to be a pretty face,” she said.
“We make sure the girlshave an understanding of the game and the brands they’re representing.”