Each January, our church and a second church in the area partner to do a basketball lead through Upward. Upward is a world wide Christian sports league. The motto is "Every Kid is a Winner." At each game, every player and cheerleader is introduced as they run through the welcome tunnel. Each player receives equal amounts of playing time and players are matched against other players via their comparable skill/experience in game situations. At the end of each game, the players and cheerleaders meet with their coaches where they are given a star (the color varies) and a personal word of affirmation.
I had originally signed Sanaa up for basketball. However, this was the first year that cheerleading was offered as well and many of the girls signed up for cheerleading instead of basketball. Unfortunately, not enough kindergarten girls signed up for basketball so the girls kindergarten league was cancelled and Sanaa was moved into cheerleading. She is really excited about it and has enjoyed her two practices so far. I'd love to have her play basketball next year, but I guess if they offer cheerleading again we'll have to see what she ends up choosing.
This week, we actually had some "homework" to do for cheerleading. Sanaa's pom-poms had to be "fluffed" out. In the picture below you'll see how they were packaged rather flat and we had to pull each strand apart.
Sanaa and Layla helped me for about 5 minutes and then lost interest. They then stood there watching me finish the pom-poms and asking, "Are they done yet?"
The other "homework" Sanaa had was to decorate her cheerleading bucket. She'll take this bucket to each practice and game. In the bucket she'll carry her pom-poms and megaphone. (The megaphone is driving me crazy! All the kids have enjoyed yelling through it. Malakai seems to have the most fun yelling through it, but the noise level it driving me nuts!).
For Sanaa's bucket I mentioned we could use the glue glitter pens and glue on other decorations. I then saw that she had some small sponges in her craft center and mentioned painting with them. Sanaa heard me mention painting and decided to just use a paint brush and created a mural on her bucket.
Today was Sanaa's first day to cheer at a basketball game. She was excited to wear her cheerleading outfit!
Sanaa's cheerleading squad getting ready. There were two basketball games going on. So during the first half they cheered on one side and then for the second half they moved to the other side of the gym. The cheerleaders do not cheer for one particular team. They cheer for both teams. So anytime a basket was made they cheered and shook their pom-poms.
They did two cheers today. The first one goes like this:
Here we go!
Red and black!
Let's. Go. Upward!
The second cheer was this:
Dribble it. Pass it.
We want a basket!
After the game, Sanaa's cheerleading squad had a snack together while Shawna (their coach who is also our children's pastor) gave each girl a colored star. Sanaa was given a blue star and recognized for her great effort during the games.