Gimme an B! Gimme a O! Gimme a Y! Wooooo!

by Catherine Redfern // 14 August 2009, 09:57

From the BBC:


A group of boys from Leeds have wowed judges at an international cheerleading competition in Coventry.

The Peewee Boyz, who are thought to be the only cheerleading boys in Europe, won third prize at the International Cheer Championships in July.

There's a video on the BBC link, but I found this on youtube as well.

How wonderful. I just love good news about brave, trailblazing kids!

Via MsKitton on Twitter

Comments From You

Jennifer Drew // Posted 14 August 2009 at 11:45

Good to see boys undertaking cheerleading but just one major problem - why are these boys not dressed in skimpy clothing which emphasises their sexuality? The same problems arise whenever females engage in any sporting activity. The emphasis is always on 'dsplaying female sexuality' whereas these boys were all dressed in black and therefore the viewer was not looking at their bodies but at their athletic ability as well as their co-ordination.

Is it because any activity involving males means the 'activity' not their physical appearance or 'sexual hotness' is the sole criteria. Whereas any activity involving females means it is their 'hotness to the male gaze' which is the sole criteria. Female ability to perform routines which are athletic come a resounding second since 'female sexual hotness' is the main criteria.

Given we are saturated with a male-dominant and male-defined perspective of 'athletics' I am not surprised these boys' appearance was irrelevant but their athletic and co-ordination skills were far more important. Once again male values predominate.

Catherine Redfern // Posted 14 August 2009 at 17:06

I know you are being sarcastic to make a point about cheerleading and double standards in general terms, but really - these are young *children*.

And secondly, a quick check shows that it looks like all dazl diamond cheerleaders wear the same uniform - for example here, where older women and men dance together and wear black t-shirts and trousers, I think at the same event as the boys. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPEzxjIcXBU&feature=related

So I think your anger is misplaced in this instance.

Yes, we need to be aware of sexism when it occurs, but let's not over-react when genuine progress is being made.

Laura // Posted 14 August 2009 at 17:24

I think this is great, so nice to see boys unapologetically enjoying something which is traditionally seen as only being for girls. Good for them!

zak jane keir // Posted 15 August 2009 at 01:39

I think this is to be encouraged as well: 'cheerleading' seems to be turning into kind of 'performance/athletic display' thing in itself and the more teams like this, the less of a silly sexist sideline it becomes. There is, after all, nothing wrong with learning and enjoying dance, teamwork, gymnastic skills etc.

tiffany // Posted 15 August 2009 at 10:07

We have cheerleaders at my university, but they're there to be 'macho' and hold the girls up. When they;re asked about why - it's 'why not?'

MsKitton // Posted 15 August 2009 at 13:14

I think its fantastic because it shows that cheerleading and dancing is a great way to keep fit, whatever your gender. Not every kid is going to possess the skills to be on the football/basketball/whatever team and its fab that those who don't make the cut can be a part of the team and stay active. And, the fact that these boys are doing it, pom poms and all in tracksuits shows clearly that girls in spangly bikini type horror clothes are being objectified while the sportsMEN do all the hard work on the pitch/court.

Who knows? Maybe even women's teams lining out with male or mixed cheerleaders. This clip was the best thing I saw all week. After all the abuse of Harriet Harman and Hilary Clinton this week, and the abomination that was Baby Beauty Queens, this little clip is the kind of thing that will really get people thinking about women's role in society, and questioning the status quo

christine // Posted 15 August 2009 at 19:26

im a mother of one of these boys i think its fantastic and it keeps him fit...my son is also in his school rugby and fooball teams..my daughter is also a cheerleader with dazl diamonds and they donot wear skimpy clothes that show everything they were very respectful costumes....im very proud of both of them and i think its about time boys got involved with this kind of sport

Catherine Redfern // Posted 15 August 2009 at 19:29

Christine, that's brilliant! It sounds like a fantastic group and I can see why you're proud of them both.

Hayley Peach // Posted 15 August 2009 at 20:18

I am also a proud mum to 1 of the boys and they are all fantastic. My son also plays rugby league and doesn't see cheerleading to be girly at all. As you can see from their routine it mixes street with cheer dance and the brilliant mix of music keeps it fun and trendy for they boys. They all work very hard and cheerleading gives them amazing strength and fitness, it tires me out just watching them warm up!!

Ian Rodley // Posted 16 August 2009 at 08:37

Im am the Head Coach of DAZL Diamonds, I can understand the argument you may have about inappropriate costumes on some team and that the media focuses on sexy girls in short skirts when address cheerleading.This couldn't be further from the truth we are a member of the British Cheerleading association (BCA) and inappropriate costumes are forbidden as are and jewellery etc.. We all focus on the athleticism of not only the boys but the girls, more so the girls as this sport is dominated by them. The athletes need not only be fit and strong but extreamly disciplined and committed. Lets encourage more young people to get active and be proud of doing something worth while and fun. One final point since these boys have started cheerleading their academic grade have improved as well as their physical appearance this also goes for a large percentage of the girls. Also their confidence, social skills, mental and physical health which fundermentally for myself is the most important things for these young people.

Catherine Redfern // Posted 16 August 2009 at 10:22

Ian, thanks for that, it's all good to know and congratulations on such a brilliant project. It's good to know that athleticism is important for the girls teams as well as the boys. Thanks!

maggie // Posted 16 August 2009 at 10:34

I love this story but it was introduced on Radio Five Live (by the female presenter no less who should hang her head in shame) as some form of 'silly season' article which made me angry. However, I was glad that DAZL put paid to the narf narf undertones.

It's a fantastic achievement by the boys and it's good that both sexes work under the same great principles. I will certainly be finding out more about the cheerleading for my own boy.

kirsty raby // Posted 16 August 2009 at 12:15

my daughter is also part of dazl diamonds and I think that without this amazing cheerleading squad keeping her and her fellow team mate off the street these children would be getting up to far worse. DAZL then active and also empowers young girls to succeed if you explore the DAZL website its main aims is to give young people especially young girls from south leeds positive a activity to be involved in. This programme has given my daughter the confidence to express herslft and her feeling through her cheerleading also leaving me a very proud parent. Finally i have a boy at 3year old and the only thing which keeps his attention for more than 5 minutes is the DAZL Boys (What an inspiration to all young people out there) Big Fan Kirsty xx

claire lancaster // Posted 17 August 2009 at 17:06

I am also a mum of one of the DAZL diamonds boys and im soooo proud of him for what he has acheived he has always loved dancing and was so pleased to be choosen to be part of the dazl diamonds 1st all boys team they are a great set of lads and lads they are they couldnt be any more "boyish" if they tried.. All i can say is carry on boys as you are and ul go far you make us mums sooo proud every time we watch you perform.. Lets go dazl lets go.......

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