On 9th July 2020 the U.K. government requested that the National Governing Body of each sport put together and submit a document detailing plans for a return to their sport. 

SportCheer England put in extensive work to produce said document and submitted this to the DCMS on 19th July 2020. This was published on our website and a copy was also sent to the International Cheer Union (World Governing Body of Cheerleading and IOC recognised) who praised us for our work. 

We had confirmation from the DCMS that the document had been received and were advised to wait for further communication following its review. We then received communication from Sport England, (who are working with the DCMS to verify organisations) asking us to clarify our relationship with an EP who has previously laid claim to the title of governing body. As we are recognised by the ICU, have worked hard to support and govern the sport in-line with our mission and believe that we represent a majority of the sport of Cheerleading, we confirmed that we were the organisation supported by the community to take forward NGB recognition.

Unfortunately despite being the only document submitted to the government for the sport of Cheerleading, our RTP document approval is now delayed due to this Event Provider claiming to be ‘A National Organisation for the Sport of Cheerleading’. This has naturally led to some confusion on behalf of the DCMS and Sport England and we received a request this week from Sport England to speak with the EP in question to see if it was possible to produce a joint return to sport document or to garner their support for our current document. 

With the greater good of our sport in mind we have done this, however it is unfortunately clear that there are irreconcilable differences in our approaches to the fundamentals of cheerleading and so it seems that this is not possible at this time. 

Cheerleading is a team sport and stunting is an integral part of this sport. We believe that in order for us to do justice to and to effectively govern the sport, these components cannot be ignored in any Return to Play document and so we made sure to include them with appropriate risk mitigation measures. It is this point that makes it impossible for us to move forward with this EP as they have made it clear that they are unwilling to support a return to Cheerleading that encompasses these vital components until the U.K. government removes all social distancing guidelines. 

Today we have confirmed to Sport England that we do not feel that we can move forward in working with the EP for the reasons stated above and we have asked that the DCMS review our RTP as soon as possible for the following reasons:

  • That it is the only document that has been submitted for the sport.
  • That is specific to the sport and addresses the sport thoroughly including integral elements such as stunting. 
  • That SCE is recognised as governing body for Cheerleading by the International Cheer Union who are in turn recognised as the World Governing Body for Cheerleading by the International Olympic Committee.
  • That SCE has demonstrated that we have the best interest of cheerleading and the safe return to sport at the heart of what we do.  

We understand how important it is for cheerleading to return to play safely as soon as possible. We thank you for your support thus far and we hope that you have found the information and guidance provided by SCE throughout the COVID-19 pandemic valuable. Rest assured we are working hard and will continue to do so to make sure this can happen as soon as possible. 

Amanda Fairhall
SportCheer England
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