“C is for champions that’s what we are!” Is the opening line of Cheadle YFC’s winning cheerleading chant, however winning anything seemed a very distant prospect in the beginning. As we pulled into the Wheatsheaf car park and met the removal van coming out. The landlord locked up and announced that the Wheatsheaf would be closed for the foreseeable future. We were homeless, or rather meetingless. Eventually we were adopted by June at the Lord Nelson where we have been made very welcome.
After a splendid night at the Autumn Ball in October we recovered sufficiently for some serious competition. It was volleyball time. We probably would have won a prize for the best turned out club in our brand new club shirts but they didn’t do anything to improve our volleyball!
Our fortunes improved in November when we were joined by six new faces at our new members evening. Our new members were probably having second thoughts as we embarked on our Christmas fund raiser-wreath making. We now know why holly berries are red it’s so you can’t see the blood! After much appreciated tuition from Phil and Christine Large we managed to raise £140.00.
Whilst we nursed our sore fingers the pool players chalked their cues and headed off to Festival Park where Rob Chadwick and Paul Hollins excelled themselves by coming first and third. Well done lads!
Next we went to Stafford for a bowling night where the accompanying food package proved just as popular as the bowling. Not that everything we do involves food but all of our members enjoyed a Christmas meal at the Lord Nelson. June did us proud. We continued our festivities with carol singing which proved to be both popular and lucrative-we some how managed to raise £180.00 and a large tin of quality streets which kept us going for the next 4 or 5 meetings.
After all the food we squeezed into our clothes for the Cold Turkey Disco and New Year Ball. For our first competition in 2005 we engaged our brains for the county quiz. Everyone enjoyed themselves despite being distinctly average in the general knowledge department.
Next was competitions day and Paul Hollins went down a storm with his speech entitled “What I Would Look for In a Perfect Wife.” We don’t think we should document any of Paul’s ideas or he won’t get a girlfriend in the next ten years! Lisa Hawkins and Ashley Clarkson both performed outstandingly to clinch the title for the four year in succession. Ness, Jo, Christine and Alison just missed out on the top spot in the brainstrust competition and Christine and Ness were both runners up in the members of the year competition. Ness went through to the West Midlands Area Final with a composite team and they came home with third place in the after dinner speaking competition. Our success continued as Jo, Ashley and Ness talked themselves into joint second place in the call my bluff competition.
We made the transition from speaking to singing (if you could call it singing) for the club promotion competition. Our rendition of YMCA earned us joint second place. Alison, Jo, Ness and Ashley will never hear YMCA again without reflecting on that performance. Fortunately the music was more in tune at our joint disco with Waterhouses we managed to fill the Winking Man. The proceeds were divided between the two clubs and Oxfam. In May we donated £165 to the County Air Ambulance and in turn their representative gave us a very interesting talk when he came to collect the cheque.
Later in May it was rally time. We entered everything our ages would allow. Everyone worked and practiced really hard and produced some brilliant items. We won both the junior and intermediate trophies which date back to 1977 and Cheadle’s name wasn’t on them. It is now!
At the pre-show reception Ness acted as compere and Lisa Hawkins put up a great performance in the Stars in Their Eyes competition. The club display completed a great evening by gaining second place.
The next day all our float building work at Hill Top Farm proved to be worth while when our “Sing A Song A Sixpence” theme float was placed second and the tractor name board shield came our way for the fourth year running, well done Ness. Everyone just dried off from the float water fight and it was time for the yfc swimming gala. Christine, Mathew, Alix and Kate sunk the opposition by winning five races out of six. Great show!!
Inspired by our swimming victory we got into training for the cheerleading final. Vivienne Shelly’s help proved to be invaluable but painful! Her idea that Jo could kick her leg over Ness’s head didn’t really appeal to Jo. Rachel and Kate became more flexible than they thought possible, Lisa joined us as the mascot and got to wear the very attractive chicken costume. The Cheadle Chicks got into there stride and we amazed ourselves at the Royal Show by coming away with second place out of 28 teams and an invitation to represent England in the Five Nations Final.
More team work followed when Cheadle and Leek had a joint marquee at Leek Show and donated £148.00 towards The Help Harry Appeal.
In between socialising with other clubs and perfecting our cheerleading we found time for paint-balling. Everyone had a great time whilst Ness hid! She still managed to finish up with 3 big bruises on her bum. Fortunately Ness recovered sufficiently to sit down with the rest of our club for our end of year meal at the Sneyd Arms in Whiston.
We worked off our meal at the Five Nations Cheerleading Final where we were crowned champions beating Wales by one point. Thanks to the other Staffordshire members for giving us great support on the day and thank you to all at county for their hard work and help throughout the year. The end of our cheerleading chant sums up our year and our aspirations for 2006…
“E is for electric! We'll give you a shock! Go Cheadle Go, Cheadle YFC Rocks!”