Justin Carrier sent the following email:
Coaches and Gym Owners,
As most of you know, I have dedicated my career and a majority of my life to the All Star industry. The last couple of days have been challenging for us at Varsity, and it’s important for you to know our position on the recent media coverage on cheerleading.
Jeff has taken the time to put together a response regarding how he (and Varsity) feels about cheerleading as a sport. I can assure you that as former athletes ourselves, we at Varsity believe that our mission is to support all forms of cheerleading, from traditional school cheerleading to the all star world that has grown so dear to us.
As always, I’m here to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
Varsity All Star
Dear Varsity Family and Friends,
You may have read some recent news stories that caused some confusion about my stance on cheerleading and Varsity’s role in athletics. As a result, I felt it was important to share some additional information about Varsity’s mission and my own, personal passion for cheerleading that I hope will help clear up any confusion that may have arisen in the last few days:
First and foremost, you should know that Varsity always has, and always will continue to support any effort that promotes cheerleading or creates opportunities for women and girls. I believe cheerleading helps promote athleticism, leadership, spirit and service in young people today and those values will always remain at the foundation of everything Varsity does.
As a former cheerleader myself, I strongly believe all cheerleaders are athletes, and should be recognized as such. My own belief, as well as that of Varsity, is that when using the general definition of sport – “an athletic activity with competition” – all forms of cheerleading are either sports or have sports components. Therefore, All Star is a sport in this context. Collegiate and school cheerleading also has sports components during competition, in addition to providing leadership and spirit-raising functions.
For more than 35 years, Varsity has been the leader in growing cheerleading, and we support all of its forms, including traditional cheerleading and All Star.
In my other role as president of the International Cheer Union, I continue to be committed to growing demand for cheerleading on a global level. In fact, the International Cheer Union currently has members from more than 90 countries.
Varsity absolutely encourages and supports evolving the “competition only” aspect of cheerleading in a way that would enable it to eventually be recognized officially as an intercollegiate sport, while maintaining traditional cheerleading as an athletic activity.
I look forward to working with the entire cheerleading community in the future to further promote traditional cheerleading, while exploring ways in which we might further define and build an emerging sport that provides even more opportunities for young athletes around the world.