Cheerleading is a Bavarian thing
Welcome to V-Town Panthers home: where 75 sisters, bored of soccer and folk dancing, reach the air every week
I’ve known Theresa probably fifteen years, and as I sit at her kitchen table, we talk endlessly about growing up here. Those summers around the lake. Childhood. Our friend Markus.
It’s the kind of place where you stay around the same people from birth, right through school, until everyone moves out to the bigger cities to study. Summers are warm enough to spend outdoors in the fields and lakes. I like escaping Munich for the slower pace of life out here.
“I’ve got to take my sister to cheerleading practice,” Theresa says after about an hour. “But come along if you want.”
We pick up two others along the way, and the car is filled with excited noise. They start telling me how around twenty years ago, some girls in the town had been bored of the soccer and Bavarian folk dancing dichotomy. They wanted an all-girls social club playing a different sport. Seventy-five sisters now congregate here twice a week to run, sing, shout and throw their friends in the air.
“You know what we do with new visitors?” Theresa’s sister asks.
The three girls fell about laughing. Uh oh. Two hours later I’d know.
Does the sweat come from my nerves, the exertion of clambering up a tower of people or this panther suit? My toes are a good twelve feet off the mat, my oversized furry head a further six above that. It sure is a good thing I can’t see out very well. “Now bend your knees and jump – we’ll catch you!” Wirklich? “Come on!”
When I finally do, I’m in the air for longer than a flight to Sydney. Every second feels a second closer to heaven, then to the floor. When they do eventually catch me – and I was convinced they wouldn’t – I feel a rush of relief and adrenaline. They let me down onto the mat again and we laugh, we high-five, we dance in the togetherness that keeps these girls coming back, week after week.
They make me keep the mascot outfit on for a team picture. Look, there I am, in the front row of the V-Town Panthers: Mama, I made it!
ATHLETA MAGAZINE ISSUE 06
ph Tobias Volkmann
text Oliver Cable
‘Baltic Sea,’ KARHU and JNF join forces to protect the Baltic Sea
Athleta Magazine will be Media Partner of the event combining running and marine sustainability
Marmöl Gravel philosophy is encapsulated in the testimonies of its protagonists
Marmöl Gravel, portraits of a gravel party
Marmo Botticino, fatigue, beers and DJ sets: in Brescia, two wheels go beyond performance
Marmöl Gravel, bikes merge with Botticino Marble
We’ll be Media Partner of this event dedicated to the connection between two wheels and Italian territory
Werner Bronkhorst, the world is a canvas
The South African painter inspired by matter and ideals, miniatures and sporting echoes
Hassan Azim, boxing is a gift and I will share it
Brotherhood and religion, community and gaming, ‘Hitman’ is the new virtuous face of the British and Pakistani ringside
‘Finding Space’ through cycling
Jack Flynn’s images and the words of Rapha testimonial Duke Agyapong explain the essence of two wheels
Jamal Sterrett, my dance is communication
The intertwining of Bruk Up dance and Asperger’s Syndrome told in the words of this inspiring British performer and the wonderful visual production of Fred MacGregor
Behind the Lights – Brazo de Hierro
From the streets of Barcelona to the peaks of the Alps: the heterogeneous cycling lens of Albert Gallego
The kite dance
MT Kosobucki’s photos tell of men becoming kites, and vice versa