INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - When the Indianapolis Colts take the field Saturday, Aug. 24th for their preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, 150 former cheerleaders will join them. The women will participate in a special halftime performance celebrating 30 years of the Colts organization in Indianapolis.
"We were talking about doing a reunion – something simple, just a dinner for the girls to get everyone together," says Andrea Farrell, a Colts cheerleader from 2002 to 2004. "Through that, the Colts organization felt it would be good to have the alumni tie the reunion into a game. So, our simple little dinner turned into a half-time performance on Aug. 24th."
Each of the more than 300 alumni cheerleaders were asked to participate and about 150 committed – even women from the original 1984 squad. The women will be divided into five groups based on their first year on the squad and will perform segments that reflect the three decades of the Colts’ presence in Indianapolis.
“Then we'll come back together to form a wonderful kick-line across the field as a finale," says Farrell.
Our WISH-TV cameras were at the L.A. Fitness in West Carmel as one of the alumni cheer groups practiced. Dancing has proved to be a test of their fitness, years after these women hung up their pom-poms.
“I do workout DVDs in my home a few times a week, plus, I’m a pediatric nurse in the ICU at one of the local children’s hospitals, so I’m up on my feet about 12 hours a day, but I did feel a little sore when we started to work on the kickline,” says Jill Eicher, 34, Colts cheerleader for four seasons from 1999 to 2002.
Former Pro-Bowl cheerleader for the Colts, Jennifer Trock Barbera, 33, cheered for the Colts for seven seasons from 1999 to 2005. She recently gave birth her first child, a boy, and said she worked out before during and after pregnancy.
"I do total fitness, I love Zumba, anything like that. We just turn on music around the house and I just dance around with my son. He's 20 pounds so that works!"
Trock Barbera is a physical therapist who stressed how important it is “to keep exercise as part of your daily life just to stay healthy, keep your heart rate down, and keep your blood pressure down."
During their time as Colts cheerleaders, these women spent countless hours exercising each week. Farrell says during the three seasons she was on the squad “we practiced 2 to 3 nights per week; before each practice we had to arrive early to run 1 to 2 miles and then we would work out with our trainer before practice one night a week.”
Farrell says members of the squad were also required to log 2 to 3 gym workouts per week, outside of their team practices. On game day, the women would arrive 6 hours before kick-off to run the field, stretch and run through the game day routine. After a break for hair, makeup and a meal, the squad would take the field for the four hour game.
"Because you put so much time into practicing and preparation while you’re on the squad, keeping up your appearance and your fitness is still important,” says Farrell.
For their Saturday night performance, the alumni will wear special jerseys with the number "30" on the back, representing the thirty years of the Colts’ presence in Indianapolis. Either their name or the word “alumni” will be printed above.
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