JACKSONVILLE – Young girls ages 4 through fifth grade gathered at the Jacksonville High School cafeteria on Saturday for the annual Lil’ Cheerleader Clinic put on by the Jacksonville cheer booster club. The event, sponsored by Chick-fil-A Jacksonville, included cheer and chant instruction, a T-shirt, a picture with a Jacksonville High School cheerleader and a snack.
Lil’ Cheerleader Clinic is one of the club’s annual fundraising events that bring aspiring cheerleaders together to learn a cheer, chant and stunt, according to cheer booster club president Tanita Gumney.
“We are doing this fundraiser to help support our Jacksonville High School cheerleaders at competition, pep rallies, cheer gear and for a few little extra fun things on the side for team bonding,” Gumney said. “It’s fun for the community and for the little girls to learn from the big girls. The big girls get to teach what they’ve learned; everyone loves it and has a good time. We take lots of pictures and make lots of memories.”
Gumney said the event was a positive and fun activity for young girls in the community.
“There’s a lot of hometown team spirit and giggling with all these girls! Each year the ‘lil cheerleader’ gets a picture with a cheerleader, some of the girls collect them until they age out of the program in fifth grade,” she said.
Nayunna Fuller, whose four year old daughter Da’miziyunna Paris participated in the event, said the event was great for confidence building and making social connections.
“I enrolled Da’miziyunna because she’s really active and she loves to cheer and also I wanted her to experience the clinic so she could see how they work together as a team and besides that maybe it could help build her confidence,” said Fuller. “I think the clinic really benefits the Jacksonville community by building those social connections.”
Cheer booster club vice president Alice Ray coordinated the event along with volunteer moms Julie Bunn, Crystal Bateman, Traci Luster, and Alex Edwards.