Getting in the Spirit of Cheer Fundraisers

The cheerleading squad may have a certain stereotype, but did you know that approximately 85% of cheerleaders have a B average or higher. In many high schools, teachers make sure their athletes maintain a certain average or they are not allowed on the team – while the same is true in many cases with cheerleading.

The cheer squad is made up of highly competitive individuals. It’s tough to get on the squad, and it’s even more difficult to keep your grades up at the same time. Cheerleading is also one of the more popular school teams, with about 80% of schools in the US having a cheerleading team.

With this number of interested applicants, it makes you wonder why cheerleading is so expensive. On top of the regular peer-pressure and pressure to keep grades up, cheerleaders are faced with the fact that even joining a cheerleading squad is pricey. That’s why cheerleading fundraising is equally as popular.

As September comes to an end, try outs for school sports will begin – cheerleading among them. So you had better be ready with a financial plan if your son or daughter tells you that this year they want to join the cheerleading squad.

Cheerleading fundraisers help raise or take some of the financial burden off of team parents. Funds raised can go towards the price of joining, attending competitions, paying for uniforms and travel.

Some of the more popular cheer fundraisers include car washes, pizza and candy sales, rummage sales and coupon/service/goods sales. Many teams will also throw special events at the school, such as dances, or special outings outside of school, such as paintball or bowling to which a portion of the money earned goes to the cheerleading squad.

If you have your doubts, you’re not alone. The main reason why thousands of kids resist joining the cheer squad every year is finances. However, yearly fundraising can help. Not only does it alleviate some of the financial burden from parents, it also brings the team together and puts them in control, by allowing them the power to decrease the total yearly costs from the additional funds they raise.

We’ve put together a plan to alert parents to the associated costs of cheerleading. The following tips will help parents decide if they can cover some of the cost, and it will allow students to decide if they want to join cheerleading, considering the fundraising efforts.

The reality is that many kids are prevented from joining cheerleading, and parents are scared off of it, simply from the mounting cost of participation. The following common costs are associated with cheerleading (Please note these are approximated costs):

Squad Fees: Yay, you’ve been lucky enough to be chosen for the squad, but maybe you didn’t know that you’ll be required to pay a membership fee of approximately $50 fee for the first season and about $40 for the second season squad.

Cheerleading Uniform and Apparel: Cheerleaders will all have to buy matching uniforms, which could mean a team T-Shirt, sweater with a decal, socks, skort and ribbons…sometimes matching shoes are even required. In some cases this cost may be a bit lower because a team t-shirt and sweater will not be needed. Competition uniforms range anywhere from $150-$250. Many competitive teams also want their cheerers to purchase additional clothing – including a complete warm-up outfit (jacket and pants) for the season, cheer briefs (undergarments) and a bodysuit. On top of that, if a uniform is damaged by a cheerleader, it’s the responsibility of the cheerleader to replace the damaged piece or the entire uniform as deemed necessary by the coach.

Cost of Competition: Competition fees, aside from the uniform, can be approximately $300-$800 per year. This will require the vast majority of fundraising efforts to help subsidize the costs of registering in cheer competitions. The bad news is that, if insufficient funds are raised, each cheerleader is suddenly responsible for covering those costs.

Dance or Choreography Lessons: Unbeknownst to many competitive cheerleaders and parents, choreography fees are a part of being on the team. All teams practice with an expert coach and choreographer who are paid for their services. It will cost each member approximately $400 per year (depend on the number of cheerleaders on the squad).

Gym Fees: On top of all the rest, if your child is interested in competitive cheerleading, they will have to pay the fees in order to practice at a professional gym or gymnastic facility with their team. These costs are paid directly to the facility and can run from about $100 to $200 per month.

Cheer Camps: All cheerleaders who make the squad (competitive squads at least) will have to attend the summer cheerleading camp of their coach’s choice. Cheerleading camp fees run between $250-$300.

Cheer Equipment: This includes poms, matching cheer bags (many times with the school or team logo and your name monogrammed on it, which is extra), cheer shoes (and a second pair of shoes to be used during the competition season).

Transportation and Travel: Getting around to games is not always straight forward. The logistics of getting the cheer squad to away games had to be considered and for games out of State this can get very expensive with the price of fuel these days.

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