Tag Archives: Bill Seely

Sorry, Cheerleading is Not a Sport

ESPNW published Sorry, Cheerleading is Not a Sport, contributing to the is cheerleading a sport debate.

Sports teams exist to compete, not to perform and entertain or support another group that competes. In the cheer-as-sport conversation, this is the most important element to understand. One can be an athlete and not participate in a sport. And one can participate in a sport and not be very athletic. By definition, billiards and bowling are sports. Backcountry skiing, climbing, ballet and cheerleading are not. I’m fine with that.

USA Cheer Participates in White House’s Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit

USA CheerMemphis, Tenn., May 29, 2014 – USA Cheer President Bill Seely participated in today’s Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, joining President Obama to discuss sports safety and concussions. The event featured young athletes, parents and coaches, as well as professional sports stars and military service members convening to discuss ways to prevent and treat concussions and encourage research into sports-related head injuries.

“USA Cheer is proud to join with the White House and leading sports stakeholders to build a blueprint to make sports safe for young athletes across the country. We applaud President Obama’s commitment to help ensure that children continue to be active and play sports safely,” Seely said.

The cheerleading community’s efforts, led by USA Cheer, have contributed to a documented decrease in catastrophic injuries among cheerleading athletes. One such change, the removal of a dismount known as the “double down,” reversed a trend of increasing concussion rates. Currently, the cheerleading concussion rate is 42% lower than the overall concussion rate of all sports.

As part of the summit, the White House announced new steps by both the private and public sectors to inform the public on prevention and treatment of concussions.

“Today’s event provides the sports community with a great opportunity to come together and participate in a national conversation that impacts the lives of all athletes. We’re happy to be a part of the dialogue and continue our commitment to making cheerleading as safe as possible,” said Bill Seely.

USA Cheer has made great strides over the last several years in significantly reducing injuries, making it one of the safest athletic activities for young people. The organization works to educate parents, cheerleaders and coaches on cheerleading safety at every level.

USA Cheer is also releasing its Safety Commitment (below), showcasing progress towards helping understand the problem of sports-related concussions, improving strategies and tools to keep kids safe, and educating parents and other adults involved in youth sports on how to keep children safe during play.

A full list of USA Cheer’s Safety Commitment is available online at www.usacheer.net, but some of the highlights include:

  • A comprehensive Head Injury Protocol, developed by the USA Cheer National Safety Council, to be rolled out at summer clinics around the country to over 300,000 cheerleaders and their coaches. This protocol is based on current research and evidence-based methods including consistent assessment practices, evaluation protocols, and appropriate referrals consistent with all new published research. All instructors are trained on head injury policies and will be teaching over 300,000 cheerleaders and their coaches how to prevent, identify, and seek treatment for any suspected head injuries.
  • Educational training videos, on the Cheersafe.org website, where cheerleading coaches, parents and athletes can review skills for legality and safety. The videos will expand the current training tools to anyone with internet access and will be available free of charge.
  • Updates to existing safety rules, developed in coalition with the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, the National Federation of State High Schools Associations, and the U.S. All Star Federation cheerleading rules committees, which will further reduce the risk of injury to those who participate in cheerleading.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Bill Seely, please contact Sheila Noone, [email protected] or 901-251-5959.

Press Release – USA Cheer Participates in White House’s Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit

USA Cheer Names Ronnie Carter Executive Director

USA CheerMemphis, Tenn., May 27, 2014 – USA Cheer has announced that Ronnie Carter has been named its Executive Director. USA Cheer, the governing body of cheer in the United States was founded in 2008 to serve all aspects of cheer in America – traditional, all star and the emerging sport of STUNT.

Ronnie Carter served for many years as the Executive Director of the Tennessee State Secondary Athletics Association, where he oversaw the association that coordinated and regulated the competitive athletic programs for the more than 400 schools in the state. Carter was eventually named President of the National Federation of State High School Associations, based in Indianapolis, IN. There, he worked with leaders from around the country and advocated on behalf of students participating in a wide range of sports and activities.

“Ronnie has been a consistent voice for student athletes for more than 40 years, and USA Cheer is proud to have him on our team,” says Bill Seely, co-founder of USA Cheer, who will now assume the role of President, previously held by Jeff Webb. “Ronnie brings a profound understanding of youth sports in America, and an ability to work with all of our shareholders, specifically in our mission to grow all disciplines of cheerleading.”

“USA Cheer has set a foundation for cheer at all levels to thrive and grow. It’s our mission to ensure that cheerleading remains an exciting, challenging and safe option for athletes,” says Carter. “And I look forward to furthering that mission and seeing USA Cheer expand upon its leadership role.

For more information about Ronnie Carter and USA Cheer, visit www.usacheer.net or contact Sheila Noone at [email protected].

Press Release – USA Cheer Names Ronnie Carter Executive Director

The College STUNT Association Announces Season Four All Americans

Memphis, Tenn., (May 5, 2014) – The College STUNT Association, under the leadership of USA Cheer, has announced this season’s All Americans.

College Stunt LogoThis year’s STUNT All Americans were selected by a committee of coaches from various regions along with several STUNT officials. Nominees for All American are athletes who exhibited superior skills and techniques as well as a good game sense and knowledge of STUNT, as well as be in good academic standing. They also needed to have participated in at least half of the games or tournaments for at least 50 percent of the routines.

“We continue to be extremely impressed with the athleticism of our STUNT All Americans,” says Bill Seely, Executive Director of USA Cheer. “They played a major role in the success of their teams and represented our sport with dignity and grace. As STUNT progresses, we are proud to salute the talented athletes who make up our sport.”

Twenty-four First Team All Americans were chosen for the 2014 season of STUNT, along with 24 Second Team All Americans and 20 Honorable Mentions; a full list can be found on http://collegestunt.org.

First Team STUNT All Americans

  • Michele Bayer, Cal Poly
  • Alicia Clifton, Oklahoma City University
  • Hayley Cox, Texas A&M
  • Kayla Crawford, Oklahoma City University
  • Kaley Croke, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Amanda Cuccinello, University of Delaware
  • Taylor Delozier, University of Oklahoma
  • Jackie Fabricatore, University of Delaware
  • Kerissa Garlick, Sacramento State University
  • Brittani Hanna, Oklahoma City University
  • Sydney Lewis, Texas A&M
  • Halie Lindberg, Oklahoma State University
  • Sarah Montreuil, Davenport University
  • Karlee Morton, Oklahoma City University
  • Tiara Paisley, Davenport University
  • Marlana Pierson, Menlo College
  • Kylie Quinn, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Carreline Register, Florida State University
  • Mary Seals, Alma College
  • Kaitlyn Sexton, Hofstra University
  • Brianne Shafer, Alma College
  • Samantha Smith, Oklahoma State University
  • Paige Thornton, Michigan State University
  • Char Walton, Davenport University

The College STUNT Association Announces Season Four All Americans

USA Cheer: Stunt Wraps Up Season with Championship, Awards

University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University take home titles.

USA CheerMemphis, Tenn., March 27, 2014 – STUNT, the new title IX sport derived from cheer and launched by USA Cheer, held its fourth annual National STUNT Championship this weekend in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with three teams in Division I and four in Division II.

The Division I National Champions are from Oklahoma State University, who beat the University of Oklahoma in the finals. The University of Delaware also competed in Division I.

The Division II National Champions are from the University of Central Oklahoma, who beat out Davenport University. Other competing teams included Oklahoma City University and Alma College.

At the Championship, awards were also bestowed on standout coaches and an administrator, whose support helped move the sport forward. From Oklahoma State University, Dave Martin was named Administrator of the Year. The Division I Coach of the Year was awarded to Ben Schreiber from the University of Delaware, and the Division II Coach of the Year was awarded to Michelle Sabourin from Alma College.

Final games wrapped up on the West Coast as well, with six teams competing in two days of games.

“This year, STUNT continued to grow and evolve and we couldn’t be more proud of the teams that competed throughout the season,” says Bill Seely, Executive Director of USA Cheer, which worked with experts from both the cheer, sport and Title IX communities to launch the new format in 2010. “We owe the success of STUNT to the enthusiasm of the coaches and administrators who participated and to the athletes, who spread the word about competing in this new sport for female athletes.”

STUNT has successfully met the minimum requirements set by NCAA for the Emerging Sport application process for the last four years, which is unparalleled in the world of sport.

For more information, visit www.usacheer.net or www.collegestunt.org or contact Sheila Noone at 901-251-5959 or [email protected].

Stunt Wraps Up Season with Championship, Awards

Varsity Joins Partnership for a Healthier America

New initiative to recruit 400,000 cheerleaders and dancers to lead health and wellness programs in schools across the United States.

VarsityMemphis, Tenn., March 7, 2013 – Varsity, the leader in cheerleading and dance team education, events and apparel, has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) with a new initiative that encourages cheerleaders and dancers to cheer for a healthier America.

The new program will be implemented at more than 1,000 camps across America, taught by 4,000 instructors. The program, designed to get kids involved in aerobic activities, will be taught to the 400,000 enrolled campers that attend Varsity camps. After participating in the program during camp, these campers will be instructed on how to use the program in their schools and communities to get other kids moving.

The program will be highlighted in all camp brochures and DVD training manuals, which are distributed to more than 26,000 coaches and administrators, and will be part of the official curriculum of each camp.

“We know that cheerleaders can use their prominent positions as school leaders to help us spread the word about the importance of physical fitness at every stage of life, especially the crucial elementary school years,” says Bill Seely, Senior Vice President, Training and Education for Universal Cheerleaders Association, the largest of the Varsity brands. “We look forward to teaming up with the Partnership for a Healthier America and working together towards a healthier future for our youth.”

“Some of the most powerful communications and programmatic efforts in which we can engage are the ones where kids speak directly to kids,” said Lawrence A. Soler, CEO of PHA. “Varsity brands is doing just that, by engaging high school and college-aged leaders and enabling them to work in their communities – specifically elementary schools – to get kids moving more. We’re pleased to have them on board.”

The program will be working on physical activity and nutrition lessons that will be performed at camp and then re-taught at elementary schools by those camp attendees. Participants will be asked to make a pledge to take the activities back to their schools and communities before they leave camp on the final day. They will be provided with physical activity challenges and school challenges to implement when they are back at school and in their communities.

For more information, please contact Sheila Noone, [email protected], 901-251-5959.

About Varsity

Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1974, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, many of which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Sponsors for Varsity events include Gatorade, Playtex Sport, Softlips, Oxy, PBTeen, and Herff Jones. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 400,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. In 2012, Varsity purchased American Cheerleader Magazine, which has showcased the cheerleading community since 1995. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.

Varsity Joins Partnership for a Healthier America

USA Cheer and AACCA Launch CheerSafe Campaign

Website offers comprehensive library of cheerleading safety information and resources.

Cheer Sage LogoMemphis, Tenn., March 1, 2013 – USA Cheer, the governing body of cheer for the United States, has teamed up with the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) to launch CheerSafe.org, the most comprehensive website to date for cheerleading regulation and safety information.

The launch of Cheer Safe.org coincides with National Cheer Safety Month (March), and will include 31 days of safety messaging on Twitter (@cheersafe).

CheerSafe.org is the one source for all cheerleading safety information, from the latest regulations and research to the rules that every team should follow. CheerSafe’s mission is to educate parents, coaches, cheerleaders and administrators on the facts of cheerleading safety at every level – school, college and all star—and to promote and improve cheerleading safety through the involvement of a wide spectrum of organizations in the cheerleading community.

The CheerSafe coalition includes the National Federation of State High School Associations, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the International Cheer Union, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the University Risk Managers and Insurers Association. It is also supported by youth sports organizations, cheer publications and several state athletic associations. “CheerSafe.org will be the perfect online source for educating the entire cheerleading community,” says Bill Seely, the Executive Director of USA Cheer. “In many ways, cheerleading safety can be seen as the model for all athletic activities. The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators has been leading the way in cheerleading safety since 1987, with risk management courses and safety guidelines, as well as building relationships with other youth sport organizations.”

Jim Lord, Executive Director of AACCA, has been a tireless safety ambassador for the cheerleading community, and is excited to be working with USA Cheer and other youth sports organizations to continue improving safety conditions for cheerleaders. “I know that CheerSafe will resonate throughout the cheerleading community,” says Lord. “CheerSafe members are united in a three-prong approach to safety: that every cheerleading team be trained under the direction of a knowledgeable coach; that the cheerleading team follows established safety rules; and that they have an emergency plan in place.”

The website provides information on where cheerleading coaches can receive training in person and online, safety guidelines for all states and sample emergency plans. It also invites cheerleaders and coaches to participate in the iCheerSafe pledge.

For more information, visit cheersafe.org, or contact Sheila Noone, [email protected].

USA CheerAbout USA Cheer

The USA Federation for Sport Cheering is a not-for profit organization and is the national governing body for all disciplines of cheerleading. USA Cheer exists to serve the entire cheer community, including club cheering (All Star), traditional school based cheer programs and the new sport of STUNT. USA Cheer has three primary objectives: help grow and develop interest and participation in Cheer throughout the United States; promote safety and safety education for cheer in the United States; and represent the United States of America in international cheer competitions.

AACCA LogoAbout AACCA

The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators represents more than 20,000 cheerleading coaches and is the leading advocates of cheerleading safety in the U.S. AACCA is the most recognized source for cheerleading safety education. The AACCA manual, composed by a team of doctors, lawyers, cheerleading industry professionals and Gerald S. George, PhD, has been endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, as well as the NCAA and NFHS.