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NRL's first male cheerleader

Goodna’s Stephen Holdsworth is the first male cheerleader in the NRL competition.
Goodna’s Stephen Holdsworth is the first male cheerleader in the NRL competition. Rob Williams

A GOODNA teenager is relishing being the NRL's first male cheerleader despite some rugby league fans abusing him for his unconventional profession.

Stephen Holdsworth, 18, became the first male cheerleader for the Brisbane Broncos when he ousted hundreds of hopefuls at auditions earlier this year.

A former gymnast and dancer, Mr Holdsworth said he was proud to be flying the flag for males in a female dominated sport.

And the majority of those making up the Suncorp Stadium crowd was also supportive.

“You get a small group of people at games who yell abuse and say stupid things to me but most people actually say good on ya for giving it a go,” Mr Holdsworth said.

“The perception about males dancing is changing because of shows like So You Think You Can Dance and X Factor.

“People did used to be like ‘Oh, you must be gay to dance' but not so much now.

“I hope more men across Australia take up cheerleading and not be afraid to do it.”

Mr Holdsworth is a life-long Broncos fan who attended West Moreton Anglican College.

He has been cheerleading for two years.

He does not use pom poms in his routines; instead he wows the crowd with acrobatics.

Mr Holdsworth's girlfriend Rachel Scott said she rarely encountered criticism of her boyfriend's unique profession.

“Even if people say something it doesn't matter because he loves dancing and that's just him,” she said.

“It's difficult going for walks in the park with him though because he wants to do a flip off everything he sees.”

Mr Holdsworth could soon be joined in his lonely dressing room, with the Gold Coast Titans also approving male cheerleader try-outs.

Mr Holdsworth can be seen cheerleading at the next Brisbane Broncos home game on April 29.


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