University of Illinois Cheerleading Team is a highly visible and enthusiastic group of athletes selected primarily to support the Intercollegiate Athletics and serve as ambassadors by appearing at university functions and community events. The nationally recognized competitive program consists of 12-14 co-ed couples. A candidate trying out will either be selected to the Orange Squad or the Blue Squad. Throughout football season both squads will be combined for mounts, baskets, stunting and game performance to ensure that all members have a chance to learn and develop together. The two squads will split during basketball season to cheer for either men's or women's basketball. Members must be full time students at Illinois (12 semester hours) pursuing an undergraduate degree. High school seniors are eligible to tryout in the spring of their senior year if they have been admitted to the University.
Each member must carry and maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and must pass 12 hours or more each semester. Attendance at study tables (6 hours per week) is required for all first-year members and members with a semester GPA below 2.5 or cumulative GPA below 2.3.
One of the great privileges of being an Illini cheerleader is getting the opportunity to travel throughout the country to cheer on the Fighting Illini at various sporting events, such as the 2005 NCAA Final Four where Illinois played in the Championship game.
Illinois Cheerleaders are considered student athletes and all expenses associated with being a member are covered by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. There is no fundraising involved as a member of the squad. Nike is an official corporate sponsor and members of the squad receive Nike practice gear, warm-ups, travel gear and shoes. Uniforms, poms and megaphones are also provided at no cost.
An athletic trainer is present at every practice and game. The main training room is located in Memorial Stadium with first-class care provided by top athletic trainers and two staff physicians who provide evaluations and health care for our cheerleaders.
Illinois cheerleading is one of the top programs in the Big Ten and involves a major time commitment from all members. Illini cheerleaders spend approximately nine hours per week practicing in preparation for games, events and competition. In addition to practice time, three hours per week are spent in the strength and conditioning program. Illinois competes at UCA Nationals and the trip is fully funded by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
For more information on Illinois cheerleading or if you're interested in trying out for the squad, please contact: