It is estimated that 77% of kids will be the victim of bullying at some point in their life. As if those numbers aren’t staggering enough, 58% of youth admit to never telling an adult about their experiences. As parents, we want to empower our children to have the confidence to protect themselves. We want them to be healthy and we want them to maintain a high self-esteem into adulthood.
The Centers for Disease Control have reported that approximately 60% of high school students have experienced thoughts of suicide. One of the top indicators for teen suicide is “rejection by friends or peers.” Add into how teens view one another and rejection comes in many forms.
There is so much pressure for girls today to “fit in,” to dress like others, to look like others and to engage in activities that may put them at risk. Knowing these statistics and seeing the pressures on her daughters prompted Cheri to create a safe atmosphere and to create supportive relationships for these girls.
Enter Cheri Dickmeyer with FITGirl, Inc. As a parent of two teenaged daughters, Cheri shares her daughter’s challenges on a daily basis. She wants to empower her girls to be healthy, physically and emotionally. “I have struggled with not knowing how to help my girls handle the bullying, comparing, and confidence issues. Social media only exasperates the issues and some parents aren’t even aware of what their teenagers are saying and seeing on many social platforms,” explains Dickmeyer.
Cheri wants them to be “FIT” in body, mind and soul! FITGirl Cheer & Tumble is one component of FITGirl Inc. The FITGirl Cheer & Tumble clinic was developed to give teenage girls another outlet to develop new friendships and build confidence while participating in something that keeps them active and fit. “I had my youngest girl in a different cheer program here in Omaha for a while and she was always upset after practices. She never felt ‘good enough’ and I was discouraged with the way she was being challenged.” The girls have enough bullying and pressure at school, they need a place to go where they feel safe and empowered and where other girls their age build them up and support them.”
Bringing in a dedicated staff of professionals, Cheri has created an atmosphere of strength. Determined to empower young women to become “fit women”, FITGirl Cheer is providing an opportunity to create an atmosphere of acceptance and support of one another. A place where the girls look to one another for affirmations rather than looking down on one another while negatively critiquing them. FITGirl Cheer is a place where the girls grow together and rely on one another for strength while encouraging fitness and looking at each girls inner beauty.
This dedicated staff includes Christa Gilson who is currently a certified trainer and fitness coach! Christa brings with her a wealth of first-hand experience as a cheerleader and Pop Warner cheer team coach. She whole heartedly believes “there are a respect, pride, and responsibility that come with being an athlete and part of a team” and she envisions every FITGirl to learn those qualities.
Christa has seen how detrimental it is when women believe they are not good enough. Upon hearing about FITGirl she immediately wanted to be a part of it as she thought “finally, somebody gets it.” For Christa, her involvement includes a 3 part plan:
First, I want to promote all the FITGirl values. This means, creating a place where the girls are taught to push and motivate each other rather than tearing each other down. I want each girl to be shown the value of her uniqueness, to begin the process of them feeling comfortable in their own skin. I want to make them strong. This world will always be full of challenges. They will always be faced with adversity. My goal is to give them the tools to push through the rough spots and keep moving forward by using cheer.
Secondly, I want to provide them with the highest level of Cheerleading skill and knowledge I can. I will do this by providing a curriculum that will prepare them for their high school programs. We will focus on motions, kicks, jump and tumbling.
Lastly, we will teach them how to look and feel like athletes. Our team’s nutritionist will have conversations with our FITGirl cheerleader’s about how to fuel their bodies correctly. She will speak with them about how to be the heathiest versions of themselves.
FITGirl Cheer’s nutritionist is Lisa Garrett. Lisa brings over 30 years of experience in the health and fitness realms in addition to proving holistic nutrition services. She is passionate about helping her clients correct their diets to “enhance their quality of life with food and disease-specific supplements.” Combining a passion for fitness with experience and education in nutrition, Lisa is prepared to teach young women what they need to give their bodies for optimum benefits!
Kelli Hishaw’s 10 year old daughter Hailey attended the first FITGirl Cheer clinic and thought it was FUN! As Kelli explained, it is a Fun atmosphere. “All of the staff provided an equal focus on wellbeing. They talked about nutrition and how to care for yourself into your pre-teen years.”
Christine Ciarlino’s daughter, Delaney has also attended FITGirl Cheer. She shared her experiences also. As Christine says, “My daughter, Delaney, has been in a Cheer program with a local organization for the last 2 years and she likes it, but one of the things she said she has benefited from FITGirl Cheer is the stretching instructions and poses. Christa takes the time to show the girls individually and as a group the proper way to stretch and the reasons why. In the other cheer program, they stretched for 5 minutes and then focused on the cheers the rest of the time.
As a parent, I am thrilled that she is getting the proper training physically and being told the reasons behind it. I also like the nutrition portion of the program and the FITGirl message that is so important to growing girls into young ladies. Delaney is having fun and is eager to learn from Christa’s experiences!”
By focusing on positive attributes and learning to love themselves, these girls can grow into positive adults who have learned how to support one another and love themselves. The overall objectives of FITGirl Cheer include:
Teaching young girls cheerleading techniques while using cheerleading as a tool to build confidence and self-esteem.
Encouraging physical activity! FITGirls are encouraged to do a variety of activities and will have practice once per week, allowing for each youth to be involved with other activities.
Each cheerleader will be taught everything they need to know to make their high school team, regardless of any previous experiences.
FITGirls will be taught how to turn into fit women! Each girl will be taught proper nutrition and how to incorporate a healthy diet into their lives.
While all aspects of cheerleading are important, what makes this cheer clinic different is the holistic focus on the participant. The focus is on the child and how to empower her to become a strong, healthy and confidant woman. Too often we forget the pressures of today’s girls and inadvertently add more onto them. By empowering the girls, FITGirl staff hopes to create a healthier self-image and an even healthier and happier young woman.
COMING IN February 2016! FITGirl Winter Wellness Expo, “A Mother-Daughter Empowerment Experience.” Watch for details on Facebook!
For more information on FITGirl Cheer, contact Cheri Dickmeyer at FITGirl Inc.: firstname.lastname@example.org. While the website is being developed, find out about the latest events and classes on their Facebook page FITGirl Inc. and find out how you can help make a positive impact on our next generation of women.