Oakland Raiderettes Photos from Week 6

The Oakland Raiders posted a gallery of cheerleader images from Week 6.   Click here to view the gallery.

The Other Raiderettes

Raiders cheerleaders play with power and style
Jenna Clarke
Canberra Times (Australia)
May 20, 2013

[photo gallery]

The bad boys of the Canberra Raiders like disgraced former star Josh Dugan could learn a thing or two about discipline, hard work and personal branding from the 17 scantily clad women who cheer them on at every home game.

The smiling Raiderettes – the women who spend the majority of a freezing Canberra winter accessorising the aforementioned grins with crop tops and fish nets – put the ”leader” in ”cheerleader”.

While they didn’t pick up the pom poms for the NRL’s official Women in League round when the Raiders lost to the Cronulla Sharks at Sharks Stadium on the weekend, Raiderettes coach Kait, who has been a part of the official squad for six years, says the Raiders community has more girl power than Beyonce.

”All the canteen mums, the physiotherapists, the receptionists at the club are so highly regarded,” Kait said. ”I’ve been involved with the club for around seven years and it’s a great, female-friendly environment. I actually say to the girls at every home game, ‘Not everyone watches what we do but remember to smile as your mum is out there watching’. It’s funny but really nice that all of our mums come to games to cheer us on.”

For Kait, spray tans, hair flicking and thigh slapping is just one, albeit shiny, aspect of her life.

By day, the 23-year-old University of Canberra graduate is climbing the corporate ladder in her classified government job.

Fellow Raiderette ”veteran”, 22-year-old Sam, who has also been with the squad for six years, juggles full-time study – she’s completing a degree in business informatics – with a full-time job as a legal assistant. Cheerleading is her hobby and dancing her passion.

Kait and Sam are the Raiderettes’ version of the friendship between players Sandor Earl and Blake Ferguson, also known as ”#Dorguson”.

Kait and Sam

During rehearsals they laugh, joke and poke fun at each other and finish each other’s sentences. Although they admit they would rather drink Red Bull than green tea – the boys’ drink of choice. They originally decided to try out for the Raiderettes after being encouraged to do so by their childhood dancing teacher.

”All of the girls are so talented and strong – seriously, we are like heavy lifters thanks to all the routines which involve us tossing girls in the air, but we’ve all been dancing or doing gymnastics since we were all really young. Cheerleading is one way we can continue to keep doing what we enjoy,” Sam said.

Each dancer must undertake individual weights training, strengthening and cardio fitness and also attend a four-hour training session each week to learn new routines.

The Canberra Times went along to one of the high-intensity sessions where formations for upcoming home games were discussed and learnt.

Their professionalism filters down to the squad’s fraternisation with the team. ”We do socialise together sometimes but only really after Saturday games, other than that the players do their thing and we do ours,” Kait said.

”Because Canberra is so small and the club has a real community feel about it, the cheerleaders and players are most likely related to each other rather than in relationships with each other.”

In response to the Raiders scandalous start to the year caused by off-the field dramas of Ferguson and Dugan, she said there were strict rules regarding personal conduct which each member of the squad adheres to when joining the Raiderettes.

”It’s not just about being pretty – if you can’t hold a conversation, be charming and engage with the crowd, the fans and the general public then doing this and being a Raiderette isn’t for you,” Kait said.