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Being a three-time Zimbabwe Cheerleader meant auditioning for the team on all three occasions. Each year I have learned new ways to better prepare myself for the big day at the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival.

The best way to feel prepared is to make a checklist. I write down everything I need the night before, pack what I can, and go over it in the morning.

Checklists always calm me down so I’m not a frazzled cheerleader the day I perform. Some things you want to check off are extra tights, make-up and hair needs, any necessary outfits, a copy of your music, snacks and water.

When I am in the field I am now focused on the routines. I make sure to warm up and stretch my muscles. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle while dancing. So I stretch them out. To be frank, words alone cannot explain how I feel about cheer leading at the schools rugby, it means just more than the world to me.

As the captain, I am honoured to be in the team, it is not because I am really good but I believe it is the hand of God. I am expected to carry the responsibility of shepherding my fellow “dolls” in the field at every half time break, I believe it takes a lot of maturity and confidence for the dolls to entrust me to lead them.

The rugby festival is very exciting and nerve racking, which is a good thing. You want to be excited and use that adrenaline when it’s time to dance. If you find yourself over-the-edge nervous, just take a moment and breathe. I always take three deep breaths right before stepping on the stage, so that I perform without any worries.

There is nothing that makes a cheerleader stand out more than her confidence.

If you want to perform at the Rugby Festival, it’s because you believe you have what it takes to be part of the team, you strut your stuff and show everyone what you are made of. I have based my success of the festival performance on my hard work, commitment and positive mindset.

The writer is 18 years old and learns at Harare High School.

Source : The Herald