May 12, 2020– USA Cheer, the National governing body for the sport of Cheer, is proud to announce that the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) has recommended to add STUNT as an NCAA emerging sport.
STUNT expands participation opportunities for young women by providing an avenue for female athletes with skills in the area of cheerleading, gymnastics, weightlifting and competitive cheerleading to use their background in a new format. USA Cheer created STUNT as an opportunity for universities, high schools and youth-level programs to meet the strict Title IX requirements of a sport.
“When we began the journey over 10 years ago, we brought in key experts and stakeholders to help us design a female sport that was derived from cheer. It was imperative that it satisfy Title IX requirements, was economical for schools to add, fun to play and engaging to watch,” said Bill Seely, President and Chairman of the Board for USA Cheer. “We are thrilled and humbled that the Committee on Women’s Athletics with the NCAA is giving us this tremendous opportunity to advance STUNT.”
The Committee on Women’s Athletics identifies sports to be added to the Emerging Sport for Women program, which is a pipeline supporting the advancement of women’s sports to NCAA championship status.
The committee recognized the continued growth in high school STUNT participation, steady increase in the number of NCAA member institutions that sponsor STUNT, and support from the sport’s national governing body as compelling rationale to include STUNT as an emerging sport for women. The committee further noted the relatively low cost of sponsoring the sport and the opportunity for the sports to enrich sponsoring institutions enrollment management strategies. STUNT programs promote participation opportunities for female student-athletes of all body types and diverse sport backgrounds, as well as opportunities for female sport administrators, coaches and officials.
USA Cheer and the College STUNT Association salutes the hard work of the administrators, coaches and student athletes of all the STUNT programs who have contributed to this historic moment.
“On behalf of USA Cheer and STUNT, we are beyond thrilled for what this means to female athletes from the youth level all the way up to college,” said Lauri Harris, Executive Director of USA Cheer. “The opportunity to now be able to compete in a sport that’s based on the skills that they love and enjoy competing in at the college level is truly a monumental moment. The dedication of the student-athletes, coaches and administrators across the country has paved the way for this landmark achievement”.
“The sport of STUNT has provided another unique avenue for women to pursue their athletic and academic careers and add to their collegiate experience,” said Marcus Manning, Athletic Director at Centenary College. “The Committee on Women’s Athletics recommendation to be an NCAA emerging sport is a transformative step for the future of STUNT. I want to commend the leadership at USA Cheer for putting STUNT in a position to be recognized as an opportunity for women, sport-sponsorship opportunity for member institutions, and for achieving NCAA championship status in the future.”
“The CWA’s endorsement of STUNT today is a victory for Title IX and female athletes everywhere. STUNT will provide thousands of new athletic opportunities for women and girls at all level of sport,” said Terri Lakowski, Title IX consultant and sport advocate with Active Policy Solutions.
STUNT’s next step is to continue its growth of the sport at all levels across the country, as we prepare for the next phase of working with each division in the emerging sport process.
The Emerging Sports for Women program has been in existence since 1994. In the past 21 years, several sports have reached championship status, including beach volleyball, rowing, ice hockey, water polo and bowling. The program currently has five sports: equestrian, rugby, triathlon, acro & tumbling and wrestling.
For more information on STUNT, visit stuntthesport.org. For more information about USA Cheer, visit usacheer.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About USA Cheer
The USA Federation for Sport Cheering is a not-for-profit organization and is the national governing body for all disciplines of cheerleading. USA Cheer exists to serve the entire cheer community, including club cheering (All Star), traditional school-based cheer programs and the new sport of STUNT. USA Cheer has three primary objectives: help grow and develop interest and participation in Cheer throughout the United States; promote safety and safety education for cheer in the United States; and represent the United States of America in international cheer competitions.