As your cheer season starts to come to an end it’s a good idea to start thinking of an end of the year party. It can be as fancy or as casual as you want. If your team has had a theme for the year, it’s probably good to stick with that.
There are as many ways to celebrate the season as there are athletes on your team. Here are some of the things we do and a few ideas that you can use to make the banquet special for your team.
If you have a decent budget, you can look into renting a room or taking the team out to a restaurant. We typically use the school cafeteria and decorate it up. It has everything we need to make a wonderful banquet. It has a kitchen facility, a place for multi-media, tables, restrooms, etc. With lots of balloons, table clothes and centerpieces, it looks great.
If you choose to have food at your banquet, there are a few options. You could have a potluck style and have the team bring the food. Just make sure that you plan it out a little so that you don’t have 20 desserts and 2 main dishes. You could have someone come in and cater if you have the money. Alternatively, for not much money and a little time, you could make the dinner yourself. This last option is what we do. I typically purchase the items and assemble them the day of the banquet. Spaghetti or Chicken Alfredo is easy and inexpensive. Add a large salad and garlic bread and you are set. I typically feed 100 people for around $150-200.00.
Each school is different in the awards they give out. At my school, the JV cheerleaders receive a certificate of participation and twill numerals that they can sew on a letterman’s jacket. The Varsity team receives a varsity certificate and a megaphone pin to signify the first varsity letter and if they have not received their numerals, they receive those as well. If they have already received their megaphone pin, they get a gold bar each time they letter.
Seniors receive a personalized letter thanking them for their dedication to the team. The senior girls get a gold megaphone necklace and the guys receive a sublimated dog tag.
Four-Year seniors are recognized with a speech by the coaches and a memories video from the 4 years they spent on the team.
We also hand out any awards for scholastics and all Americans.
Through the season, we collect pictures and videos and put them together for a great memories video. We watch this during the dinner part of the night.
The most important part of the night is recognizing and thanking the athletes, parents, administration and supporters for their hard work and dedication to the team. Take some time on each student to make him or her feel special.