SU Sport Officer Update - Cheerleading Spotlight

Blog Post

SU Sport Officer Update

Cheerleading Spotlight

I wanted to highlight some great news coming out of our Cheerleading Club recently. Cheer aren't a BUCS sport but take part in a range of competitions and have had some great success on an individual basis.

Six members of the club have recently been told that they will be competing at the Cheerleading World Championships in April 2019 at the ESPN Worldwide Sport Complex in Orlando! A competition that club chair, Holly Quilter, described as the "Olympics of Cheerleading".

The selected athletes and their respective teams are explained below:

  • Chloe Clear, Molly Burd, Austere Petro: Team England
  • Molly Burd: Unity Black (International co-ed division)
  • Jacob Haynes: Team England Paracheer
  • Pollyanna Payne: Team England Pom Dance
  • Amy Hartnell-Saunders: Crimson Heat (International all-girl division)

Holly also said "This is a huge achievement for our members and to have so many Bath Jets competing at the biggest cheerleading competition in the world is definitely something we are really proud of"







I caught up with Jacob Haynes, who was selected for Team England Paracheer, so he could explain a little more about the discipline.

What is Paracheer?

Team England Paracheer (TEPC) are the current world champions and have been since the division's inception. The division itself is what's known as 'Unified' meaning that there is no distinguishment between any athlete.

Are there rules around the number of disabled athletes per team?

The rule requirement is 25% disabled minimum, last year England had 50% and this year I believe the percentage is even higher. For example, this year we have two seated bases, as well as people with a variety of hidden physical disabilities such as cystic fibrosis, chronic pain sufferers, hearing impairment, and many others. The team is not 100% disabled and the division is not designed that way, it is designed to be an imitation of the real world, with people of all different physical abilities working together to achieve something great.

What is the view of Paracheer in the world of Cheerleading?

Unfortunately, the division still experiences a lot of resistance from many in the UK who believe the team doesn't 'have enough disabled persons' or believe that it should not be a world class division and has no place at the world championships. We are working very hard to change this view and is one of the key reasons why I am so involved with the division. It is important to note that it's incredibly hard to tell who is and who isn't a disabled athlete.

Are there any different rules compared with other competitions?

There are slightly different rules for the para division, a couple of types of stunts that are banned as there is currently no safe way known how to do them with seated bases (wheelchair users) and there is also a section of the score sheet which rewards creativity, innovation and adaptation so the division is really driving new ways of doing stunts and tumble and has led to some very significant developments in technique within the sport for both para and non-para teams. It's a great example of a truly inclusive sport, there is no physical disability we havent been able to adapt for.

Click here to view Team England's Paracheer performance from last year's World Championships.

It's great to see sports becoming more inclusive and collaborative, I want to wish good luck to everyone travelling to Orlando in April with both their training and performance.