Cheerleading on the airwaves! As some of you may have heard, on the 11th September 2017 BBC Four aired a feature on our sport, Cheerleading.
“It used to be about pom-poms, short skirts and jaunty chants, but these days it’s more about athletic prowess. Cheerleading is on its way into being included in the Olympics. But despite becoming more popular in the U.K., it’s not recognised by any governing body. Cheerleaders say it’s time Sport England stepped in and regulated it.”
As part of the feature, Elizabeth Hotson spoke to UKCA’s President, Pat Hawkins, about the growth and development of the sport in the UK.
EH: There are lots of different variously sized bodies organising Cheerleading and Pat Hawkins is Chief Executive of one of them, the UK Cheerleading Association.
PH: In the twenty-plus years that I’ve been involved, we started off with less than 300 cheerleaders and currently the association that I’m involved with has in excess of 235,000 involved and I know that there are other organisations and event producers that have got a lot of Cheerleaders registered. So there are thousands and thousands of young people in this country actively taking part in Cheerleading on a daily basis.
EH: So if it’s so enormous and a growing, fledgling olympic sport, why isn’t it regulated by Sport England?
PH: They know that the numbers are very very big and now Sport England really need to stick their neck out and say ‘OK we’re going to have a governing body that can oversee the growth and development of this very exciting sport.
EH: And the governing body would have set rules, set regulations and set safety standards?
You can listen to BBC Four’s full feature on Cheerleading over on their website – BBC Four – Why cheerleading is taking off