Most of us love a cup of coffee and a slice of cake so what better way to show support for a worthy cause than by baking a favourite sponge.
Students from the Dynamites Cheerleaders at the University of Gloucestershire decided to do just that by hosting a Macmillan coffee morning to help raise funds for the cancer charity.
As the official charity partner of the Cheltenham Half Marathon, Macmillan approached the Dynamites to support the runners in 2018. This year, the club decided to increase their involvement by taking part in the world’s biggest coffee morning in the lead up to their second appearance at the marathon.
The event was held in the Oxstalls student union bar. Maisie Williams, Dynamites community and welfare officer was pleased with the response and hoped to raise around £200 over the weekend.
“We are getting a good few donations in from various people,” she said, “We’re trying to get lots of different people to donate and get other clubs involved as well.”
The first Macmillan coffee morning was hosted in 1990 on a fairly small scale but was so successful that the charity ran the event nationally the following year. Since then they have raised over £200 million for cancer support. In 2018 alone donations totalled an impressive £26,914,382.
Although Maisie has no personal connection she says Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that does work we can all appreciate.
“When they came to us it was definitely something everyone could relate to. Many people have experienced cancer in their lives or in their families so it was definitely a cause we knew a lot of the girls would want to get behind.”
For the marathon this year the team will be near the finish line to cheer on and encourage the runners.
“We plan to go along and perform a few stunts, really encourage the racers, show our support as a club and show them that what they’re doing is a really good thing.”
Maisie also hopes to change people’s perception of cheerleading as a sport, by showcasing a few of the Dynamites’ well-rehearsed routines.
“Show people that it’s more than just pompoms,” she said.
When it comes to the future there are exciting times ahead for the club which include a big fundraiser called “Bring it on”. The event will feature other university teams who will learn some cheerleading and compete against each other. There are plans for collaboration with the body positivity club to show that anyone can get involved and next May the Dynamites will host a cheerleading competition with school children from across the county as part of their ‘Cheer in Schools’ initiative. Maisie and the team are also on the lookout for more male cheerleading recruits.
“A few years ago we had a really big co-ed team.” She said, “It seems boys are getting less and less but we are trying our best to get them through the door”
The Dynamites are hoping to run a boy’s taster session later this year.
For more information about UOG Dynamites Cheerleading visit:
For further information on Macmillan Cancer support and running your own Coffee morning visit: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/