the bistro off broadway
Ansonia Youth took first place in both the Pee Wee Dance and Pee Wee Cheer competitions.
Darke County Fair
Teaching the Little Ones Life Lessons
By Bob Robinson

I’ve been covering the Great Darke County Fair Cheerleading Competition for more than six years. In the beginning I mostly ran into my Post Secondary Edison students in their high school varsity competitions… this year was a little different. As in “little ones” different.

“Mr. Robinson!” Three of my Greenville Pee Wee cheer kids from Woodland and summer tutoring ran up for their hugs as soon as they saw me. I followed them to their “encampment” to see the team sitting, standing, talking, and mostly waiting for the challenges to begin.

“I wish it was 11:30 already,” said one of the coaches. It was 10:50.

The competition kicked off on time. It was a hoot watching the kids go through their routines. If you looked closely, you could see the facial expressions on some of them, the subdued – but definitely practiced – movements. This was true of all Pee Wee contestants… this year U.C. Stateliners, Tri-Village Youth Reserve, Arcanum Youth, Ansonia Youth, Greenville Youth, Darke County Elite and Tri-Village Youth Varsity. They had the expressions, the movements pretty much down pat. Just like the big kids.

When I read CNO Sports Editor George Starks’ feature interview with the Greenville Youth team and coaches (see link below), something struck me. I’ve been teaching teamwork, respect for learning, ethics, communication, diversity and critical thinking to my college students as life lessons, never realizing that the students in this sport, as well as other high school sports, were already getting a full dose of most of those values.

And the Pee Wee kids were getting it early!

In the Starks article, the kids talked of their love for their coach, Krystalyn Bush, and pride for their school. Bush has been the one teaching these life lessons to her kids. All couched in the fun, challenge and competition of cheer leading.

To all the cheerleading nay-sayers out there… not everyone chooses the cheerleading route to learn the tools of success. It’s but one of many options, but it’s an important one, just as the classroom, band, agriculture or multitude of clubs and other opportunities are also options.

Seeing the looks on these kids’ faces, their adoration for their coach, the passion for what they were doing and their pride in their school, I defy anyone to say Bush and her assistant coaches are not Empowering these young people for future success.

Pee Wee Dance awards went to First Place Ansonia Youth, followed by U.C. Stateliners and Arcanum Youth. Pee Wee Cheer awards went to First Place Ansonia Youth, followed by Tri-Village Youth Varsity and Greenville Youth.

Check out the complete set of Pee Wee competition photos on the Community Events Photo Gallery here

Check out George Starks’ story, Little ones shine at annual fair cheer competition, here

Greenville Youth took third place in the Pee Wee Cheer competition.

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