Flashback to 2007 when Nellie Furtado hosted the Juno Awards in Saskatoon. Canadian rapper K-OS wanted cheerleaders as part of his live performance for the televised Junos. Nicole Bidwell would be the choreographer and her hand-picked group of six cheerleaders from the University of Regina Team performed live at the Junos and they also attended the after-party!
Coincidentally in 2007, Nicole was approached by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The president of the Roughriders wanted a more athletic look for their cheerleaders, evolving from dance with pom poms to co-ed stunting and tosses. In 2007 the Roughriders just happened to win the Grey Cup. “I would like to think we had something to do with that!” brags Bidwell.
This is my sixth article in a series profiling prominent personalities in Canadian Cheerleading. I interviewed Nicole Green (nee Bidwell) from her home in Wisconsin. Nicole is originally from Saskatoon and her sister Noelle Bidwell lives in North Battleford.
Nicole’s cheerleading career began at Marion M. Graham Collegiate in Saskatoon during her high school years. She was the captain in Grades 11 and 12. She continued cheerleading 1994-1999 as a student at the University of Saskatchewan. Nicole did two seasons as an athlete, then took over coaching after Charmaine Wintermute for a total of 11 years. After convocation from pharmacy, Nicole’s career took her to Regina. She did one year of living in Regina and commuting to Saskatoon to coach at U of S.
Once settled in Regina, she was asked to coach the University of Regina Cheerleading Team in 2004. After four seasons Nicole’s U of R team won the Small Co-ed division at the Canadian university championships. This was the first time a cheer team from outside of Ontario had ever won.
Nicole continued to coach the Roughriders 2007-2011. Meanwhile at the U of R, the 2010-2011 season was a year of transition and she passed the torch to Thomas Rath.
Nicole fondly reminisced about 2011, her last year of active coaching, which was quickly followed by the birth of her first daughter in 2012. Living in Wisconsin, Nicole is geographically close to the Green Bay Packers who might be looking for a cheerleading coach someday…