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Cheerleading Moves Towards BNSC Affiliation

The local sport fraternity could soon have new kid on the block as Botswana Cheerleading Federation is at advanced stages of securing Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) affiliation.

Speaking to Monitor Sport last week, the federation’s secretary general, Tony Petros revealed that they have since registered with the Registrar of Societies and are recognised by the international cheerleading governing body, International Cheer Union (ICU). He said the federation last week sent a proposal to the BNSC and it is still under evaluation.

“Our move to be affiliated with BNSC is at advanced stage. We had a meeting with the BNSC board last Tuesday. They were impressed with our presentation and preparation in regards to being one of the affiliated members.

One motivating factor is that we are recognised by the ICU so this will help speed up their decision, but like I said we are at advanced stages.”

Petros further said being a relatively unfamiliar sport in the country, they are faced with financial constraints which has limited the federation and sport’s progress.

“We have an issue with funds. At the moment we do not have an office and the financial backing but we are talking to the corporate world in order to source funds for the federation,” he said.

“We have been engaged with some corporate events like the Diacore marathon and the Gaborone marathon, as a way of catching the public’s awareness on the

sport and sourcing funds.”  Currently there are four cheerleading clubs in the country, all based in Gaborone. Petros said they aim to introduce the sport in schools and communities. Despite the status, the federation will be sending a 20-member team to the African Champions to be held in South Africa on June 30 to July 1.

In December 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised cheerleading as a sport. However, Cheerleading has not been included as part of the Olympic games sport just yet as the ICU was given a three-year recognition period. After the period, which elapses next year, ICU can petition to be included in the official games. Cheerleading would be hoping to join the likes of skateboarding, surfing and karate that will make their maiden appearance at the Tokyo 2020 games.

Competitive cheerleading is scored subjectively based on components including, but not limited to, the cheer itself, dance/choreography, pyramids, stunting, and tumbling. There are certain rules that cheerleading teams have to follow according to their level (high school, all-star, or college). According to the Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine, there are two purposes of cheerleading; to cheer on the sidelines for other athletes, and to be a highly skilled competing athlete.




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