Would you like to be a 2022 White Star Running Cheerleader?

It’s the return of our ambassador scheme for 2022, and we’re giving you the chance to apply! We created the ambassador scheme in 2020, before we had any idea what 2020 would be like. We had so, so many applications, which we were really grateful for and humbled by.

Our current crop of Cheerleaders have been brilliant in the toughest of years – we extended their tenure given that we didn’t have any races for quite a while, and we do hope that many of them will choose to reapply to join us again. And now’s your chance to be part of our dream team for the 2022 race season!

We hope we offer a good scheme that benefits the Cheerleaders, as well as helping to spread the White Star Running word far and wide.

What we’re looking for in our Cheerleaders

Here are our key criteria for applying.

Run in our races: Duh! You don’t have to enjoy our races. Okay, you do really or why are you here?

Speed: Does not matter

Gender: Not worried

Age: Over 18s only (sorry, insurance and the like)

Social media awareness: A lot of promotion happens on social media, so it helps if you know your way around the basics: Instagram and Facebook. It’s helpful if you already post a lot on Facebook (whether that’s on your own Facebook profile or in groups and on pages) and Instagram. Or maybe you’re a pro at Twitter, blogging, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, smoke signals, spray painting WSR on trains… okay, maybe not the last two. We’re looking for people who have a decent spread of the above, ideally on open/public profiles so people who are interested in WSR can see what it’s all about. We’ll be sharing your social media handles (only the ones you want us to) on our website: https://whitestarrunning.co.uk/wsr-ambassadors/. However, if you’re passionate about WSR but not completely social media savvy, don’t panic! We have done courses and everything and can bring you up to speed on all the social stuff and give you tips. If you’re willing to learn and happy to share your running life publicly, apply away.

Basically, it doesn’t matter how fast you are; we don’t care what shape you are or what you look like, whether you have been running months, years or, like Carol Hayes, since the dawn of time. This is about us, you and our races. Got it? Hope so, because we’re not explaining any more.

What you actually have to do as a Cheerleader

Clothing: Wear the gear we give you whenever you can. We’re not saying wear a Giant’s Head shirt on the school run; just wear the stuff you have and wear the spesh stuff we give you. Take photos. Pop it on social media, tag us in and basically shout about your favourite bits. If you’re super clever, make little videos, or Reels, or TiKToks or whatever it is the youth are doing now.

Races: You have to whip up a bit of storm about WSR and our races. Tell the world you have this great race coming up and that it’s a WSR race. Sometimes write up your race experiences into proper words for use on our website. Stick your race photos on Facebook and Instagram. Share our social media stuff and like our posts. Tell your mates about us, both on social media and verbally.

Be on hand to help: We want to make anyone who is new to WSR feel comfortable, so we ask that the Cheerleaders are happy to answer questions in the White Star Running Group if you’re able to and be visible on race day as a welcoming, friendly face. 

Our expectations: We will have a minimum expectation of what we expect our Cheerleaders to do for us. It’s a huge investment on our behalf, so we do need you to do a little work in return for your freebies (see below). You will be asked to contribute to the website in the form of race reviews 1-2x a year (not every race you do; we’ll share the load among everyone with the anticipation of reviewing every race). You will be asked to talk up race opening dates to help bolster entries, to share your experiences of the races you have done, to talk about the ones you’re doing. You will be asked to wear new kit from the shop and show it off.

What you’ll get as a Cheerleader

So, obviously, there are perks for being a Cheerleader. As you know, we’re not millionaires. Neither are you. With Coronavirus everyone is a bit skint. But what we do have is lots and lots of bloody amazing races starting again in March 2022, lots of fabulous merchandise, great accessories, fun camping… there will be other perks as the scheme develops.

In short, in return for being a Cheerleader you will get:

Free race entries: To anything you want, including races that sell out. Spaces will be reserved for you. Yes, including Giants Head 2022 if you want.

Free camping: At all races where you can camp… obviously. No point turning up at Spring Larmer with your caravan.

Free kit: We will kit you out in t-shirts, vests, hoodies, muffs and accessories, such as event clips, gaiters, little rubber cups, etc.

Access to routes: You will also get exclusive access to new routes and races as ‘testers’. This may not be a good thing; depends if you like hills!

Family benefits: If you have kids they will get half price entry to any kids’ or chaos races we do.

Discounts: We will look to offer you discounts with our partners/local retailers as the scheme develops.

The grand total, if you did all the races and had a load of gear, is about £1,800 a year. That’s a lot of payback, so you had better be good.

How to apply

“Okay already, how do I get in?” we hear you ask.

Flirt with us. Make us like you. Make us notice you. Look at us. Give us a long knowing look, like the look you gave to them across the bar at Wetherspoons on a Saturday night after too many cheap cocktails and curry dinner.

Tell us your deepest secrets… okay, so maybe not any of that.

What we actually want from you is:

A bit about you: Tell us about your running, what distances you like, how long you have been running, what sort of events you like (better be trails or you may be disappointed), tell us what you like about us (fluff our egos) and, just as importantly, tell us what we can do to improve WSR – we won’t be hurt; we want honesty. Please note, we will pinch any good ideas and we won’t give you any credit. Hey… life is tough.

Handy links: If you have a public Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, blog, TikTok etc, etc, then make sure you include these when you apply. We will be looking at your profiles (only the ones you send to us; we won’t be cyber stalking you) over the application period, so the more you have to say or the more you show, the better chance you have of catching our eye. Feel free to butter us up a bit on social media; won’t do any harm.

Reasons for applying: Tell us why you think you’ll be a great Cheerleader for WSR. Be honest, be creative. If you have a great personal memory from a WSR race, then let us know. We want to get to know you.

When you have put together your info for us, email us at [email protected] and make sure you use the Subject Line ‘I WANT TO BE A CHEERLEADER’ so that it doesn’t get lost in our 6 billion emails a day. Please don’t email or DM us asking lots of questions about the scheme; everything is on this page.

This is a big deal for us; it’s a big investment of time and money. We will pick the people that fit at the moment for us, meaning next year things may change so you could give it another go then if you’re not successful this year. We can only pick 8 people and we had so, so many applications last year, so think about how to stand out on your application. Some of you will be disappointed; we are sorry, but it doesn’t mean you can’t apply again next year. And remember, you don’t have to be the best ‘affleet’ in the world or the best social media user… it’s all about passion, willingness, enthusiasm and commitment.

ENTRIES CLOSE SUNDAY 19TH DECEMBER

All your questions answered

Please, please, please read these FAQs. Everything you need to know is on this page and in these questions.

I don’t run marathons; am I precluded?

Absolutely not. Open to anyone who can run any distance.

But you only do lapped races. I don’t like la…

Right, stop there. We do some lapped races called Frolics, all the others are single looped like Giant’s Head, Larmer and Ox Half, or two lappers like some of the Dark series and Moreton.

What if I do someone else’s race? Am I banned?

Not at all. Run the race. Tell everyone how great we are.

If I come up with ways to improve the cheerleader thing, can I suggest them?

Sure can buddy; in fact let us know what we can do at any time to improve.

I don’t live in Dorset, can I still enter?

Bloomin’ right you can.

I don’t like gherkins; will this score against me?

Hmmmm.

I don’t do camping; does that matter?

Not at all.

I am under 18, can I…?

No, don’t ask again. Do not lie about your age either.

What is TikTok?

No idea. It’s trendy though.

Can I run with my dog?

Don’t start with that again.

I don’t really do social media.

Well, maybe this is not your bag. But as it’s posted on Instagram and Facebook, how did you find it? In all seriousness, we do need Cheerleaders who can help our social media presence and reach new runners through the metaverse or whatever is coming next.

How many places are there?

10 in total, however two of these places have been taken by our Matrons Gina and Kelly. They know the scheme and part of their role will be to help out those who are new to social media and basically support everyone in their role as a Cheerleader.

What happens if I am rubbish at this?

We can help; let Matrons Kelly and Gina help you. WSR HQ can help too. We is well expert at writing n stuff; we have been on a course at the college.

Yeeeeah… but your mates will get it, won’t they? *sobs*

We said it’s open to anyone so there’s no favouritism. That’s not the way we work. It’ll be Andy and the WSR team picking the cheerleaders, not Kelly Henly or Gina Penman Dearing so don’t try buttering them up with offers of cake and gin or popping round to do their ironing. The Matrons are there to help you and us get on the right track with social media.

I wanna stop.

If you don’t want to continue being a Cheerleader that’s fine. Keep the gear; we won’t force you give back a rubber cup when you have had 500 drinks out of it, but you will have to pay for any races you are entered into in the future.

How long does the scheme last?

Well, it starts pretty much as soon as you’re selected and finishes 31st December 2022. Then after that we will choose on a yearly basis.

What if I behave like a dinlow?

The simple answer is don’t be a dinlow, but if you do something that brings us into disrepute or basically act like a pillock we will ask you kindly to bugger off. We reserve the right to act like Gods, in the name all that is holy.

When do we find out yay or nay?

We reckon there will be a lot of applicants, but we’ll aim to announce by 31st December 2021.

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