Funding for Cheer and Poms Raise Concerns

Andrew Plotnick

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Vanessa Barnes

The cheer team hypes up the crowd at an away football game. From left to right, Gigi Elizabeth, Ava Franke, Tati Rivero, and Laura Mata. WJ cheer does this at every game and is a big reason why WJ has the best student section in the county.

Cheer and poms, two of the most visible programs at WJ, have worked tirelessly to garner the funding needed for their seasons. Cheer and poms recently participated in a huge fundraiser to raise money for equipment in their respective sports.

The cheer and poms team combined to raise $10,500 through the fundraising program “SnapRaise.”

“We will use the money raised to offset competition fees, purchase more tumble mats, uniforms and other items that will benefit future teammates. It will also help take some responsibility off of the sports funding so it allows them to fund other teams who may need equipment,” coach Kirsten Smith said.

WJ athletic’s department has a budget they can distribute to all the sports programs at WJ. Athletic director Tom Rogers makes most of the decisions in this regard.

“We get uniforms, equipment and provide transportation and stuff as the teams need it. There is no set amount per team,” Rogers said .

The cheer team at WJ needs many items in order to be successful. They recently asked for new uniforms and mats. It is hard for all of that plus more to be covered by the athletic department, so fundraisers are recommended.

“I do not require them to do those fundraisers. Part of it is that cheer uniforms are expensive and if they want extra in regards to what I can provide from my total budget then they can spend all of that for their program,” said Rogers.

Cheerleaders at WJ feel as if they have to do more fundraising than any other team at WJ and that they deserve more money from the athletic department.

“We know that if we want to be able to practice better and have new uniforms, it falls on us. We work so hard everyday and we deserve to be appreciated more,” senior cheer captain Maddy Turner said .

All teams are funded through the school as well as the WJ Booster Club. The booster club works to fulfill the requests asked for by the teams at WJ. Teams present at Booster Club meetings in order to request what they need.

“If a team is fundraising for materials, equipment and things like that and come up with up to 50% of the cost of what they are looking for then the booster club will be asked for the other 50%,” administrator Terry Heintze said.

WJ sports teams are on a four year cycle for new uniforms, and the poms team are in need of them for competitions as well as other equipment. The Booster Club will be voting fairly soon on if the team will be getting the uniforms requested.

“The school has been nothing but supportive. We just need to get a new competition uniform and some other things such as pink poms for Breast Cancer Awareness month, workout equipment to help prepare for competition season, and a larger speaker for practices so we want some help in that effort,” poms coach Tanya Ang said.