David Hanbery of Deep South Cheer had the following response to USASF’s Jim Chadwick.
I commend the effort on trying to make our sport as respectable as possible. I also feel that if we plan on expanding our sport we must do this through providing an education for the youth that are involved. That said, I think that education is the key. Has anyone explained that much like swimming and gymnastics that the outfits that we wear are are not always determined by style but also by safety of those involved? I am the first to state that our uniforms should not place our children in an unsafe environment, but I also understand that in track and field, swimming, gymnastics, and many other sports that rely on strength, flexibility, and the art of body movement, that the outfits worn are determined by not only by fashion but the safety of the athlete.
Any coach understands that spotting a tumbling pass or catching a flyer is much easier with gymnastics or acrobatic type attire. Have you ever witnessed different in a gymnastics meet or an acrobatic performance? I truly feel that education to not only the participants, but also the parents of those participants is the key. I would never want any of our participants to be put in a vulnerable position, but I feel that communication versus rules may be a better way of relaying a position on the matter. I also feel that judges and event providers could easily explain to a coach this position as I have done in the past. As cheerleading continues to follow the steps of diving, gymnastics, and acrobatics, I have noticed the uniforms have done the same. While we all should take precautions to protect our youth, I feel that this must be said.
Thank you for your time,
President and CEO
Deep South, Inc.