Cheer squads out in full force as Damascus prepares for regatta debut

DAMASCUS College may be novices to rowing but they plan to be world champions at cheering.

The Mt Helen school will today take part in its first Head of the Lake regatta  and the whole school has thrown its weight behind its six crews.

Spit crew captains Chloe Pearson and Carlie Steenhuis said the 130-strong student support team had been practising the school’s brand new war cry for several weeks, along with making banners, flags and facepaint in Damascus’ maroon, blue and gold colours.

“The other schools don’t think we’ll be much (cheering) competition,” Chloe said.

“Yeah, they think we’re the underdogs,” Carlie said.

But school captain Demcee Davies had some fighting words for fellow competitors Ballarat Clarendon College, Ballarat Grammar, Ballarat High School, St Patrick’s College and Loreto College.

“We’re going to give them a run for their money. We’ve got a few big voices behind us,” she said.

“We’re not going to be afraid to give it a shot.”

Chloe, Carlie, Demcee and fellow school captain Jack Cuttler all said they were looking forward to their first boat race.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Chloe said.

“We’ve got a few war crys to rev up the other schools.”

And Demcee predicted success for the school in its first Head of the Lake.

“We’re not going to go home empty handed!”

The Head of the Lake, which was moved to a Friday this year due to the Victorian Rowing Championships at the weekend, starts at 1pm with the Year nine girls division five and six race.

The premier events, the girls and boys Head of the Lake, will be held at 3.50pm and 4pm.

Ballarat Grammar, which has won the Boys/Girls first crew double for two years running, will be keen to defend their title from all challengers.

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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