PURGA girl Megan McInally traded working beside straight-laced suits in a law firm to captaining the trend setting Gold Coast Titans cheerleader squad, the Titanettes.
Ms McInally, 26, leads one of few NRL cheerleading squads who actually perform American-style cheers, complete with double back flip throws and pyramids, a style referred to as “stunting”.
Ms McInally is far removed from a blonde bimbo stereotype.
She left her conveyancing job at a law firm to study at university and pursue her cheerleading career.
She said the days of cheerleaders who just shook their pom poms in skimpy outfits were fading.
“We are not just a group of girls wearing boots with short skirts and dancing,” Ms McInally said.
“We are athletic and perform hard routines filled with actual throws and pyramids.
“Cheerleading, the way it’s done in America, is a sport and that’s why I became interested in it.”
There has been endless debate in rugby league circles about whether cheerleaders should be involved in the game.
South Sydney Rabbitohs boss Russell Crowe famously sacked his cheerleaders four years ago, saying that short skirts did not foster a family atmosphere at home games.
Ms McInally, who fell in love with cheerleading while working in New Zealand, said the Titanettes were family orientated.
“Cheerleading is more advanced in New Zealand. They only do American style,” she said.
“Australia is catching up slowly and hopefully the attitudes will change.”
Ipswich is proving to be a fertile breeding ground for acrobatic cheerleaders.
Goodna teenager Stephen Holdsworth, 18, became the first male cheerleader for the Brisbane Broncos this year.
And Rosewood 22-year-old Kady Ahearn is a team-mate of Mr Holdsworth in the Broncos’ cheer squad.
Ms Ahearn said cheerleaders defied stereotypes and were far removed from the catty antics of characters from Bring It On.