During halftime at the Ithaca College football team’s first home game this year, members of the IC Cheer Club stood and watched as a group of young girls performed the cheerleading routine they had helped teach them.
This fall, the cheer club teamed up with the Ithaca Youth Bureau to mentor its cheerleading team of five to 12-year-olds. It was an opportunity for the IYB cheerleaders to learn from strong female role models, and for the IC cheerleaders to pass on their skills and give back to the Ithaca community.
“It was a great experience for us to work with IYB,” said McKenna Petri, president of the IC Cheer Club. “When we do clinics, we typically work with high school-aged kids, so it was a great learning experience for us to work with a younger-aged group. We enjoyed working with and getting to know the kids and passing down our love of the sport to them!”
Leading up to the halftime performance, Petri and the other members of the club’s executive board — Vice President Alex Sprague, Fundraising Chair Katie Schutt and Treasurer Ashley Silva — attended three IYB practices in order to get to know the young cheerleaders and help them learn their routine. They also helped IYB Cheer Coach Kat DeGiovanni with choreography.
IYB provides children with recreation and development programs. Its cheer squad cheers in Youth Football League games at Ithaca High School.