The Road to Recognition - The Facts
At this time cheerleading is not yet officially Recognised, although it is believed we are now very close. See Sport England web page Recognition Of Activities to confirm this fact.
It is understood that no other relevant body has submitted an application for cheerleading, despite claims being circulated to BCA clubs.
The Sports Councils have already accepted that cheerleading is unique, and not a branch of another sport.
The British Cheerleading Association remains the only credible and massively supported pan-UK governing body in the sport, uniquely able to meet all the criteria, and having passed every test and assessment by the authorities over many years.
With the only remaining requirement being a new full membership audit to reconfirm 'significant majority of participation', which BCA has submitted full data on, either another body can prove they have a substantially higher genuine paid-up cheerleading membership base (which they can't) or fail to submit full data as we have done. Either way should cement our case.
The UK Sports Councils are the only body with the authority to grant official Recognition to a sport or national governing body in Britain.
The British Cheerleading Association has been working towards this goal for more than ten years, having risen to meet every new requirement at each step in the long process. BCA is unique in having done so for this sport.
Our fully detailed and documented application for the Activity was submitted in June 2004, fully compliant with all 32 requirements. This was assessed by them in Autumn 2005
The Sports Councils required a fuller definition and justification on the criteria of ‘uniqueness’. This was submitted early in 2006 proving that cheerleading was unique and not a form of an existing activity, and the case was accepted.
With the new European standards of sport, BCA was required to update our full application to show compliance with these standards. This detailed addendum section was submitted in May 2006.
Our application, again the only one submitted for the sport, was assessed, and considered by the Joint Officers Panel.
On 3 October 2006 the Sports Councils agreed that cheerleading met all the criteria for a sport, but due to perceived risk deferred decision until the application could be considered in parallel with an application from ‘a governing body suitably positioned to manage and be accountable for that risk’.
BCA’s fully documented application for NGB status was submitted in March 2007, compliant with all required criteria. It is understood from Sport England that ours is the only such application received.
This has now been fully assessed, and understood to have been given a very favourable report. After positive consideration by the Joint Officers Panel in November 2007 this would normally have gone to their Board for Ratification.
They have now required another updated membership / participation audit to reconfirm that BCA has the ‘substantial majority of participation’ and support. This unequivocal auditable proof was submitted in January 2007.
On completion of this Sports Councils audit we expect that Ratification of Cheerleading and BCA should follow soon.
53 university based teams are members of the BCA. Our unique five years of work and investment in developing university cheerleading and the University Championship is well known.
Our fully documented application to BUSA for their Recognition of the sport in Universities was submitted in March 2007, and was favourably received.
The Vice President of BUSA was our VIP Guest at the University Championship at Easter 2007. A very favourable report was given. See BUSA Press Release following the event.
There is one remaining BUSA criteria, Recognition of the sport by the Sports Councils. Hopefully, when this has finally been achieved then Recognition by BUSA should follow.