The Dyldam Parramatta Eels cheerleading squad are like no other. Their experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity; that comes with great hard work and dedication. Going behind the scenes we get to see what these ladies are all about.
There is more to what meets the eye when it comes to cheerleading. It’s not all about the glitz and the glamour, it’s about teamwork, commitment and dedication combined with a roller coaster of great experiences and fun adventures along the way.
Monique Carroll, Director of the Parramatta Eels Cheerleaders has been in the biz for over 21 years and is passionate about lifting the standard for professional cheerleaders in the NRL.
High expectations are held when looking for Parramatta Eels Cheerleaders.
“They have to have something magical about them, definitely dance experience but more so lots of personality and a beautiful engaging smile,” Carroll said.
22 year old, Chloe Voller from Brighton, UK, recognises the high expectations held for cheerleaders at the Blue and Gold.
“The Industry isn't easy, there is a lot of competition, I feel very lucky to be apart of the team,” She said.
After arriving in Australia for the first time in December of last year, the Parramatta Eels Cheerleaders have welcomed Miss Voller into the team.
“Cheerleading is completely new to me…I had no idea what to expect or what the crowd was like and when you go out there it is such an amazing feeling,” She said.
Unfortunately for these girls, It’s not all natural talent when it comes to game day performances.
Carroll says the girls ‘training is not a walk in the park.’ A lot goes in to making the day memorable for the fans.
It takes hours of training and late nights in kicking techniques, fitness and stability to create the atmosphere on the day.
“Game day is go go go!” Carroll said.
“Time just goes so fast, I always keep my eye on the clock and keep everyone moving.”
Along with the sweaty hours of commitment, new friendships form.
“Life long friends who I get to create all these amazing experiences on and off the field,” says Parramatta Eels Cheerleader Cheri Watts-Sands.
Watts-Sands was a former cheerleader for the Manly Sea Eagles for before getting a spot with the Blue and Gold.
She says the Eels have supported her since arriving to the club.
“I love how much support and effort the club go to, to look after there cheerleaders and making us feel like we also play a big part in making up the club.” Watts-Sands said.
“It’s so amazing to have so many supporters encouraging and cheering us on at game day performances.”
Being able to performing in front of thousands of people every week and along side life long friends in Blue and Gold is a once in a life time opportunity.
However, don’t be fooled by all the excessive smiling, glitter and jumping around on game day. Not only do the girls share their dedication to cheerleading, they also juggle the commitment of university degrees and work around their passion.
“I think people would be surprised to actually meet the girls and learn that they are intelligent girls,” Carroll said.
“The most comment trait that they all have in common that they are high achievers and they cram a lot into their daily lives and they are very organised people who set goals.”
2016 Parramatta Eels Cheerleaders perform at every home game, as well as meeting the Parramatta community out and about at special events and community appearances.