I hadn’t been to a Toronto Argos football game in years. Since I was a kid, probably. But when the chance came to take my kids, I knew they would be thrilled. We headed down with three other families to watch the Argos on a Saturday afternoon. BMO Field was beautiful and we picked up some Argos gear and popcorn on the way to our seats. The kids sat in the stands and cheered for their team. There were fireworks, an airshow, and lots of fanfare—it was just as exciting as any NFL game I’d ever seen on TV. With the CNE taking place at the same time, there was so much to see and do. The kids didn’t know what to do or where to look first.
But without a doubt, the highlight was the Junior Argos cheerleading squad. My friend’s daughters had the chance to participate in a special week of coaching, where they were trained by the actual Argos cheerleaders. They got to learn a routine, tour the dressing room, and spend time learning from professional cheerleaders. Some of the girls even got to be on television talking about their experience. All of this excitement and training led up to the half-time show. The junior squad got to perform in front of the entire stadium. They looked amazing with their Argos t-shirts and blue pom poms.
We stood as close as we could to the stands and my kids watched, wide eyed and open mouthed, as our friends performed. Seeing them on the big screen was a surreal experience and we got our cameras out to tape the whole show. It took bravery and courage to be the centre of attention, but after all their preparation, they were ready. We were all so proud of what they had accomplished.
The Argos junior cheer program kicked off back in 2003. Junior Cheer is an annual program, runs once a season, and is inclusive of boys, girls, and kids with special needs. Anyone between the ages of 5-15 is welcome. Not only is it the thrill of a lifetime, but it’s a great way to promote teamwork and physical activity. This year more than 100 girls registered. There are even a few cheerleaders on the team that started as junior cheerleaders years ago. If you’d like to learn more about the Argos cheer team and how your child can participate next year, click here.