The Harvard Cheerleading team is a group of women and men dedicated to promoting school spirit, specifically through support of the College's athletic teams. Harvard Cheerleading has its roots in the mid-nineteenth century and boasts such alumni as Franklin D. Roosevelt (1904) and Homer Peabody (1941).
Cheerleading is a club sport consisting of 16-24 members. The team cheers at all football games as well as home men’s and women’s basketball games.
In addition to eliciting enthusiasm from the crowd, the cheerleaders are dedicated to improving and perfecting their sport and continue to do so through participation in competitions. In 2017 and 2018, the team advanced to national finals at NCA Collegiate Nationals for the first times in program history.
The squad first entered the competition scene in 2008, competing in two local events, and securing first place in the College co-ed division in both competitions—quite a feat for a squad with only a few members experienced in competitive cheerleading. In 2009, the squad extended its competition aspirations to the national stage, successfully securing a bid to the 2009 NCA College National Championships in Daytona, Florida for the first time. In their debut appearance at this national event, the team earned seventh place in the Co-ed Division I category. The team competed at nationals again in 2013 and in 2014 moved to All Girl Division. In 2017, the team made it to finals for the first time, placing sixth in the All Girl Division I category. In 2018, the team returned to finals once again and placed seventh in the Small Coed Division I category.
Although competition has become a larger element of the program, the team has not forgotten what college cheerleading is all about: leading and entertaining the fans. The squad has placed particular importance on finding new ways to increase crowd participation at sporting events. Cheerleaders can be seen performing alongside the band in the Friends and Family tailgate before football games as well as selling game face tattoos and other spirit items as a way to fundraise and interact with fans all the way up to game time. During the games, you can see the team performing during time outs and game breaks—and don’t miss all the pushups the cheerleaders do when the Crimson score touchdowns.
Beyond events specifically related to cheerleading, squad members also serve as ambassadors to the greater Boston community. Unmistakable in their uniforms and with their positive demeanor, the cheerleaders participate in such community endeavors as the Special Olympics, Relay for Life, the Honan 5k race, as well as various Alumni events and community service projects. As a result of all of their hard work both on and off the field, the cheerleaders are now eligible to receive a Minor “H” designation from the Harvard Varsity Club and the Harvard Athletic Department which again shows just how hard these athletes work to make this experience incredible for Harvard’s athletes and the fans.