05/01/2010 12:00 AM
Members of the International Cheer Union's Governing Council successfully introduced the sport of Cheer to executives from over 100 international sports federations and organizations at the annual SportAccord International Convention in Dubai on April 27 – 30, 2010.
"We view our meeting as extremely successful, as we were able to explain and demonstrate to the rest of the sports world what modern Cheer really is," said Jeff Webb, President of the ICU. "We accomplished this not only through a thorough and detailed formal presentation, but also through many personal meetings with fellow International Federation presidents and executives. The feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive."
In addition to a powerful video presentation, ICU representatives met with SportAccord staff during the four day meeting to review the ICU's statues. "While SportAccord praised the progress we have made in properly structuring our bylaws, they have asked us to consider a few improvements, which we believe can be quickly and easily accomplished," Webb said. "We intend to have the adjustments made within the next 60 days, and then we will submit them to our general membership for what we fully believe will be an expeditious approval."
At the meeting, the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) also asked for an opportunity to review and better understand the ICU's structure, to be certain no conflicts exist with Gymnastics. "We sincerely admire and respect Gymnastics and the FIG leadership," said Karl Olson, Secretary General of the ICU. "We believe that a thorough examination of our two sports will show that even though we share certain elements, Cheer and Gymnastics are indeed quite different."
The ICU has committed to continue its SportAccord application process and is expected to pursue a formal vote at the next annual meeting, scheduled for April 3 – 8, 2011 in London.
Liv Uggerhoj, head of the Danish Cheerleading Association and a representative of the ICU General Council, expressed optimism with the ongoing process. "We made the decision in Dubai that it was important to properly finalize our statutes, as SportAccord requested, and to constructively work to demonstrate that Cheer is indeed its own independent sport. As such, we requested that any vote on our membership be made next year in London, rather than in Dubai. Our request was accepted by SportAccord," she said.
The International Cheer Union is the international governing body for Cheer. The ICU represents the global Cheer community of 3.5 million athlete participants. There are currently 87 countries that are members of the ICU and who have their own national federations established.
The ICU's World Championships were recently held in Orlando, Florida with 60 countries participating.