It’s after 8 p.m., Wednesday evening in the gymnasium at Humber College’s North Campus. Most of the competitive Hawk teams have already packed up. The Humber Hawks cheerleading team is the only one left.
Cheer captain Melissa McLennan, 21, leads, the 20-member team in a warm-up on Wednesday. The members are preparing for the 2013 No Limit University and Open National Cheerleading Championship UONCC on Sat. Nov. 30.
“We have a routine set and we’ve had it set for about three weeks now. So we’re now working on skill building so that we have our skills ready for the competition,” McLennan says.
The Hawks Cheerleaders cheered their way to first place last year, beating rival Fanshawe by16 points. McLennan says he’s very sure her team has the skillset to win again.
This is McLennan’s fourth year cheering for the Hawks and her first year as captain. The fashion design student says over half of this year’s team is new but she’s confident about their readiness going into the competition.
“The pressure is kinda sitting in. It’s coming slow. We have a few practices left before the competition but the team is doing really well. We weren’t this ahead last year,” McLennan says.
This is Humber’s third year participating in the championship and McLennan says the team has a new agenda.
“We are hoping to go and put on a show, it’s not to win but to hit our cleanest, best possible routin, “McLennan says.
New to the team, Storm Hilario, 18, echoes McLennan’s sentiments.
“It’s pretty nerve racking. Our rival is Fanshawe. My best friend cheers for them. It’s like a blood bath but I am feeling extremely good about my team,” Hilarios says.
Hilario said she is planning on cheering with the Hawks until she’s completed her sport management program in 2015.
“I really like this team. I’ve been cheering outside of Humber for over three and a half years and will continue with the this team until my program ends,” Hilario says.
The Humber Hawks cheerleaders, like the rest of Canadian College and Universities teams is preparing for the 2013 UONCC at the Powerade Centre in Brampton.