Young cheerleaders' link to strip club causes upset

Last updated 05:00 03/08/2011

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A row has broken out after a group of young cheerleaders, including one aged nine, was used to promote Christchurch strip club Calendar Girls.

The All Star Cheerleaders performed at an international ice hockey match on Saturday night at the CBS Canterbury Arena.

Coach Claire Stackhouse said the group did not expect to be associated with Calendar Girls.

She was not in town for the event but said she had been told the cheerleaders, mostly 15 and 16-year-old girls, were introduced as the Calendar Girls cheerleaders.

She said some parents were concerned.

"They're disappointed they announced them as that, as they spend a lot of time and money for their kids to train," she said.

"They don't sign up for other people to pass them off as Calendar Girls, but then again their parents were all there and they didn't pull them from their performance."

Strip club owner Jacqui Le Prou said she sponsored the event and asked Stackhouse to provide a squad of older girls.

"They were announced as All Star Cheerleaders brought to you by Calendar Girls," she said.

"The whole reason we didn't want young girls is because [the cheerleaders] were being brought to you by Calendar Girls and we didn't want there to be a problem."

Le Prou said Stackhouse sent a group of young girls, including one nine-year-old.

"I spoke to her father on the day and said I wasn't very happy with her doing the event, but it was too late and I ended up pulling my Calendar Girls cheer out of the event, and they just did the America and Canada cheers."

She said she donated $500 to the All Star Cheerleaders in Christchurch in exchange for them doing the event.

"I said, `I need these girls to be older'. I wasn't ever going to introduce them as Calendar Girls. They were always going to be the All Star Cheerleaders and she sent me a nine-year-old, which I wasn't very happy about."

Le Prou said the cheerleaders at the Auckland event were between 18 and 24.

"I'm not sure if Claire has let some of the parents know who was bringing them to the event and they've found out. I explained to her right in the beginning, `We are Calendar Girls. The parents need to know and if they're not comfortable with them doing cheerleading for us, they shouldn't be doing it'. She hasn't let anyone know."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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