Statement from the UKCA Board

The purpose of this statement is to respond to SportCheer England’s statement dated 4 September 2020 concerning a Return to Sport document for Cheerleading. That statement is misleading and has resulted in criticism of UKCA on various social media fora.

There are various inaccuracies in SportCheer England’s statement but the essence of what is being suggested is that UKCA has caused a delay in the ‘Return to Sport’ within Cheerleading, which is simply untrue. We wish to clarify the position and explain to our stakeholders what actually happened.

There is no National Governing Body for the sport of Cheerleading in England. Against that backdrop, Sport England contacted both UKCA and SportCheer England and asked both organisations to collaborate with a view to submitting a joint document to DCMS. The email from Niall Judge of Sport England dated 1 September 2020 timed at 14:36:39 to xxxxxxxxxx of UKCA and xxxxxxxxxx of SportCheer England reads as follows:

Hope you are both keeping well.

Thank you both for replying to my emails from last week. As highlighted in the emails we are working with DCMS to help them understand where guidance for Cheerleading clubs / groups come from.

I appreciate that you both have been providing support to clubs and that SportCheerEngland have submitted return to play guidance to DCMS for comment. We are all keen to have one set of guidance that DCMS can look through therefore it would be great if you were able to collectively look at the guidance and look at a joint submission please? I appreciate you both have done a lot of work so I shouldn’t see there being too much extra work, but I don’t know the intricacies of the sport!

This is really about ensuring that we support Cheerleading to get back to activity, so if there is a collective view that would be really useful for all involved. I should just say that this isn’t about recognition as NGBs, purely looking at supporting the sport.

We are here to support in any way that you need us to and can also liaise with DCMS if you have any questions for them.

Please do keep me in the loop and let me know if there are any issues / questions.

Thanks”

The email is self explanatory and was sent in the best interest of our sport, to collaborate in the production of a joint Return to Sport Guidance document for Cheerleading in line with current Government Guidance.

UKCA identified a number of areas we believe following current Government Guidance required amending such as:

• A return to stunting (contact resumed)
• The use of face masks during exercise
• Inter-club training – moving outside areas in lockdown (bubble to bubble) 

Unfortunately, none of our comments or advice were listened to, culminating in Sportcheer England producing a statement on 4th September 2020 without the content above being fully explained.

As all our Athletes, Coaches, Members and parents are aware, UKCA have been providing ongoing updates and Guidance through our website, social media channels and newsletters, as and when Government including Public Health England guidance has been updated.

UKCA have pulled all of the previous guidance we provided and produced a Return to Sport Guidance document for Cheerleading, dated 7th September 2020, which has been published on our website.

Please note the Return to Sport Guidance document for Cheerleading should always be interpreted in line with the quickly changing landscape and follow updated Government Guidance.

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