Cheerleading is not an inexpensive activity.

It will cost at least $1,000 for a newcomer to join the cheerleading team at Half Moon Bay High School.

“We try to eliminate cost as a factor for not being on the team,” said Susan Royce, the assistant cheerleading coach. “Some of our girls are on scholarship. That’s why we fundraise to help support that.”

A car wash held before school started raised about $3,500 for the program.

“The prohibiting factor for girls not being on the cheerleading squad is if you try out and don’t make it or you have a less then 2.0 GPA,” Royce said.

Some of the costs are associated with camp, but a majority of it is tied up in uniforms. Unlike other team uniforms, the cheerleader uniforms are custom fit and custom made.

Royce can’t just buy a set of uniforms off the rack the way other coaches can purchase uniforms for their sports.

“We tried that and it didn’t work,” Royce said. “I ended up with uniforms that no one could wear.”

Cheerleading aims to be self-efficient, and organizers try not to ask for money from other sources. But the time comes every so often to ask for money.

The Half Moon Bay High School Boosters Athletics Corporation has helped through the years. The non-profit club provided $926 to the group last year.

“They are important ambassadors for the school,” said Steve Bacich, president of the booster’s club. “Every year, they have gotten better.”

Counting cheerleading, the boosters’ club provided $17,927 to girls sports programs at the high school last year, while giving $18,342 to boys programs.

Several sports raised their own money last year to pay expenses and never asked the booster club for donations.

The cheerleaders understand the huge costs involved.

“I think personally that it’s worth it,” said Lydia Tell, a junior varsity cheerleader. “The experience is a great experience. It creates a lot of great memories. I can’t picture my high school experience without it.”

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