Cheerleading requires athleticism and a dedication to team spirit. From a young age, girl and boys practice routines and gymnastics for hours on end in hopes of ending up on the varsity squad. This dedication deserves to be identified. Presenting awards to cheerleaders can increase squad morale and give a lift to the individual team members.
Get on the Spirit Stick
In the sport of cheerleading, the spirit stick represents the ultimate show of team work and spirit. Use the spirit stick concept to create a certificate award. Make the stick from a narrow cardboard tube such as those found in paper towel rolls. Fill in the tube with tissue paper or paper mache'. Cover the stick in colourful tissue paper or gift wrap. Write the name for the award on the tube using glitter glue or paint pens. Make each award a different colour for each category. A "best of the season" award is gold, "most team spirit" is silver and "most improved for the season" is bronze or blue. "Best attitude" or "best team player" are other options for spirit stick awards. For using a traditional paper certificate, wrap the paper around the stick in place of the wrapping or tissue and glue in place. Decorate the ends with curled ribbons or narrow streamers.
Buttons and Ribbons
Cheerleader uniforms are often adorned with buttons, pins and ribbons in school colours representing team spirit. These same spirit-supporting items make playful award substitutions for paper certificates. Order buttons with the award recipients' names embossed in school colours. Choose a two- or three-ribbon backing for the button with the name of the award written vertically. For example, if Jamie is winning the award for most improved, the button would read "Jamie" and the ribbons hanging out from under the button would read "most" and "improved." These button awards can be worn on the uniform shirt or even on the skirt during all games and cheer activities.
Funny Photo Certificates
Lighten up the mood of the cheer squad by creating humorous awards from photos. Ask a photographer to take action shots of the squad. Get multiple pictures of each member. Go through and find the funny shots. The picture may be an odd look, a mid-jump pose, flying hair or strange expression. Have the pictures transferred onto 8 x 10 paper and designate an award accordingly. For example, if Jamie's hair is standing straight out in a picture, name the award "best hair pose," or for Molly's mid-jump shot, "most graceful." Jenny's laughing shot is "best composure." Keep them tasteful and be careful to not offend any of the more sensitive girls. Have the wording professionally printed on the pictures and present at an appropriate time, such as the last cheer practice of the year.