Why is an organization like Cheer Canada needed?
- Formal recognition of a sport and its national governing body by the federal government (Sport Canada) and its Olympic committee (Canadian Olympic Committee / COC) is required for any participation in elite international competitions such as the Olympics.
- A National governing body and legitimate team selection processes is required to participate in all international competitions such as the ICU Worlds, FISU University Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympics.
- For a sport in Canada to receive formal recognition and funding by the federal government, there MUST be a governing body for that sport; there must only be ONE such governing body and it must act for the entire sport.
- The sport of cheerleading has grown at different paces, in different directions and in different genres across the country. Some regions have more developed collegiate (university) cheerleading and others, more developed school, or All Star cheerleading. Different rules, guidelines, age grids, score sheets and coaching & judging certification models exist in each province. This makes it nearly impossible to develop consistent practices and economies of scale in providing training resources, consistency and stability.
Until recently, the one common thread for All Star cheer was the USASF. All Star gyms in Canada were members of the United States All Star Federation of Cheerleading (USASF). All Star cheer between the two countries was as if they were one country; a common set of rules, coaching certification, judging, etc. However, with the growth of the sport, there became a need for the governance of All Star cheerleading to expand internationally too, hence the creation of the IASF. As a result, the USASF is now acting ONLY for United States all star cheer gyms. This has left a void in our country.
- As a sport such as cheerleading grows and matures from a fun activity into an organized sport, it must have unified rules, guidelines and policies to provide credibility, objectivity, predictability and consistency across the country for all athletes, coaches and officials. This is more important now, than ever.
- Because our sport is heading towards being an official Olympic sport, we need to take the necessary steps in Canada to receive official recognition as a sport by Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee. This process will take a minimum of five years. We need to begin this process immediately.
What is the role of Cheer Canada?
Some specific roles of national governing bodies of all sports are:
- Providing coaching and judging certification and professional development processes
- Developing and managing a high performance athlete development program
- Selecting and managing teams who will represent Canada internationally
- Developing competition sanctioning criteria for competitions across the country and sanctioning them
- Sanctioning national level competitions and tournaments
- Developing a true national championship, with the process leading up to qualification for it.
- Implementing national initiatives to develop and promote the sport
- Supporting provincial governing bodies
- Proposing and supporting bids for international competitions in Canada.
- Creating, implementing and enforcing policies to help govern the sport in areas such as Ethics and Harassment.
How does Cheer Canada gain formal recognition by Sport Canada?
There are numerous criteria required and steps to take.
- Cheer Canada is required to have data for every participant in the sport; all athletes, coaches and judges. A fee must be associated with each participant, as required by Sport Canada and the amount determined by Cheer Canada.
- This demonstrates the size of the sport and that it has a significant level of interest across the country.
- Cheer Canada must create a Membership Information Database model immediately.
- Cheer Canada has already notified the Canadian Cheer Community that the participant fee for the 2018-19 season will be $5.00 per participant. This will be due in the fall, 2018.
- Financial statements must be audited and there must be a minimum of $50,000 revenue per year for a minimum of four years.
- This demonstrates financial sustainability and responsibility. The reality of any organized sport is that there are costs associated with it.
- A true national championship and associated sanctioning of events must be occurring.
- There is none as of February, 2018.
- A high performance athlete development program must exist.
- Gratefully, the Canadian Cheer Union has begun this process for the past ten years on behalf of the country. There is much development yet to occur.
- A Long Term Athlete Development model must be developed.
- Many formal policies must be developed and implemented, such as
- Much more…..