Can I join if I'm not a UCL Student?
For our competitive teams, our Union strictly limits it to current UCL students only. This means alumni and non-UCL students cannot compete.
However, you can join as a social member, subject to Union approval, which will allow you to train with us on Saturdays at Bloomsbury Fitness from 5-7pm. Most requests to join should be allowed including: students from other Universities, UCL employees, alumni etc. Here, you can try out cheerleading without the commitment and have access to coaching guidance. It's a more chilled session where our members learn new skills.
Social membership is £50 for the year and can be purchased from the
I've never had any experience in cheerleading/gymnastics before, is it still okay to join?
Everyone is welcome; beginners join every year. You will be taught everything from square one. Additionally, more experienced cheerleaders/gymnasts are encouraged to improve their skills with us.
What determines what level I'm placed in?
We have three levels: Level 1, 2 and 3. Team placement is based on both trials and previous experience, however, during the beginning of the season, coaches will be observing athletes' effort and potential in order to solidify teams. Thus, trials will not determine everything.
To be part of the level 3 team previous experience is mandatory, although there may be exceptions.
What happens if I can't make a practice?
Practices are mandatory but if you cannot make one, it is really important to let your captain and coach know as cheerleading is a team sport and if one person is missing it affects an entire stunt group and the whole team.
If you regularly cannot make practices due to work, other society commitments or other reasons, it may prove problematic for yourself and your team as others will progress without you. This could jeoprodise others' and your safety, as well as the teams performance. Thus, it is highly not reccomended that you miss practices. In certain circumstances, such as not being able to get another time for work; it may be permitted if you make up for it through extra arranged practices
Extra practices can be arranged if it is near competition and is needed due to multiple absences.
What determines what position I am?
In cheerleading there are generally four positions: bases, backspot, flyer and frontspot. Usually at UCL Lightning, we only have bases, a backspot and a flyer in our stunt groups. Bases lift the flyer and the backspot supports the flyer's ankles. If there is a frontspot, they will support the bases' wrists from the front.
During taster sessions, you will be able to try out all positions and in trials you will have the opportunity to try out as the different positions, or as your preferred one. From this, you will be placed in a team with an assigned position most suited to you.
What are try-outs like?
Try-outs aren't anything to worry about!
Coaches will observe general strength and flexibility. They will also ask you to do some basic gymanstics such as forward rolls, cartwheels and handstands. Don't worry, as it's completely fine if you can't do any. Then there will be some stunting where the coaches will see you do the basics, such as a smush and a prep.
More experienced gymnasts are encouraged to come to an open gym to show off their tumbling.
What extra costs might there be?
We understand cheerleading is an expensive sport and that's why we try to keep costs as low as possible so everyone can participate. If you are keen to join but need some help financially, please get in contact with one of the committee members about how to progress.
However, the expected extra costs for this season would be:
- uniform and bow
- cheer shoes
(if not already purchased)
- extra TC training sessions
- travel to London competition
- any stash
We will be implementing a sell and buy forum for alumni to sell their uniform at a cheaper price. For flyers there will be the requirement to buy branded cheerleading shoes, they range from £40 to £70. For other team members - any plain white trainers will be required.