Well Now What Are We Are We Supposed To Talk About.

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by Sterling von Shimmer, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. XtremeWpg

    XtremeWpg I have my own cheer message board

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    This isn’t about talent. It’s about resources and access to them. And you can be the most talented hockey player, but without access to a rink and coaching and equipment, you aren’t making it to a pro league. Cheer is the same.


    It is a fact that there is a lack of readily available and financially accessible options in the vast majority of countries outside of Canada and the US. There is a lack of trained coaches because these countries are ‘cheer deserts’ so to speak.

    We also arent taking about a cost difference of $1500 vs $5000+ at the high school level for travel either.
     
  2. XtremeWpg

    XtremeWpg I have my own cheer message board

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    And that I can 100% get behind and would be my ideal solution as well.

    I get it. My gym got burned by the 3 per country rule at 2016 and 2018 Worlds.

    Globally we just aren’t in a position to scrap the 3 per country rule yet if we do want to continue growth of the sport overall.

    This issue is larger than just this one competitive event, and the larger implications of cheer around the world don’t seem to always be considered in discussions.
     
  3. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer I Fierce Board instead of work/study

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    I should’ve been clearer: when I said “talent,” I meant the resources and training available to develop talent in the first place. In which case my point still stands: some states have bigger cheer industries that produce more talented athletes. That gives them an edge over other states, and everyone accepts that.

    Not to mention travel costs are travel costs, and they can be steep either way.

    I don’t know what the solution here is; all I know is that it feels hollow to me to favor some teams over others due to geography. It doesn’t do anyone any favors either way. If you’re on an otherwise strong US team that’s better than most but not strong enough to break top three, I imagine it doesn’t feel good to watch some lesser team advance to finals ahead of you because they’re from Portugal or wherever.

    And if you’re on a non-US team and win something ahead of a stronger team because you’re from X country and they’re not, that wouldn’t feel like a victory to me. It’d just feel like pity.
     
  4. caffeineandglitter

    caffeineandglitter Cheer Stalker

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    Whoops!
     
  5. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    Are there other things that American teams could do to help global cheerleading besides giving up spots in finals they could have gotten score-wise? Make some promo or instructional videos with some translation? Create a more modern type of "pen pal" or sister team? Send used uniforms/practice wear? Offer some free practice time alongside them at their hotels during Worlds?

    I am not trying to be snarky, legitimately curious.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  6. Belinda

    Belinda There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    And if you're a Swedish cross country sprint skier you could be in finals, but only 6 are even allowed to enter the race in the world cup and 4 in the world championship, when we have about 12 world class sprinters. Fair or not. It's the world of sports, not just cheerleading. If you don't want there to be limits depending on geography, don't call it a world championship.

    In Sweden, we have an actual national championship in cheerleading, and you have to qualify and be one of 10. So we have 4 regional championships, top 2 from each move on, then the next two are the district with most starts. So say it's like this a: 2 starts, b: 2 starts, c: 3 starts, d: 5 starts. Top two qualify by default, that leaves c: 1 start, d: 3 starts. So that means two more teams from d move on, even if c has scored higher, they can even score higher than the no 1 team from a, doesn't matter, because it's nationals, not an open comp, and we want all districts to have the same opportunity to compete at nationals, no matter their resources.

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  7. Belinda

    Belinda There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    All of the above.. We need money, spring floor, our own gyms, coaches.. We practice in an old school gym where the roof leaks and it's freezing during winter and no air during summer, often sharing a space on two teams. And we're pretty fortunate.. We also don't have any money to pay anyone (coaches, board members). We do our own choreography because there is no way we could afford the cost of an American choreographer (a very limited amount of Swedish teams do though).

    We're fortunate with pretty good coach education here, but it's around $200 per course and coach (one for practice teams, one for level 1, one for level 2-3, one for tumbling (bhs and up) and one for level 5-6, so essentially 5 courses and $1000 worth per coach for a worlds team, $800 for level 2.

    Then add on the costs of unis, t-shirts, bows, which we try to keep to a minimum, practice wear that is optional but a lot of athletes still feel they need to have and pay out of pocket.

    All while being non profit and every single soul working as a volunteer.

    And Sweden is pretty developed as far as cheerleading goes.. We mostly need understanding and empathy, not feeling like we have to defend ourselves and why we're not as good as American trams.

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  8. XtremeWpg

    XtremeWpg I have my own cheer message board

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    All of these would go a long way.

    I’m personally in a strange spot. I’m in Canada, but in a “cheer poor” province. We’re trying our best, as are all the gyms here. We have about 650 cheer athletes today in the province. Gyms in Alberta have that in a single gym.

    I’m thinking more about teams from across the ocean. If bigger Canadian and American gyms partnered with less developed cheer nations I think that would be a huge improvement. Things like Skype and FaceTime would make helping teams out more accessible. Video review and comment etc.

    I understand being competitive. I understand not wanting to give away concepts or ideas for free to your direct competition. But I think that if more developed programs could help out internationally, not just with worlds teams, but with levels 1-4 this sport could blow up globally.

    We fixate on Worlds levels as a sport because watching elite athletes do what they do is amazing. But if the assistance was there for the younger kids and lower levels, that’s how we make this equal at the top in the long run.
     
  9. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    I think the more prominent gyms would nearly all be down for offering up some of this type of help. They share advice and the "basics" of running gym/teams pretty freely when asked in my experience. If those were done "virtually" through Skype or similar, there would be virtually no cost.

    If you could name specific types of courses, after things calm down in a week or two, I could see if we had some coaches that would be willing to share time for this if we could get hooked up with the right "international" folks. If they spoke English, that would be a huge help. We do have some multi-lingual coaches, but that isn't a particularly common thing in the US. We have several that speak Spanish. Through our connections with Rebel, we could probably get translation into Cantonese, Mandarin or other Asian languages. We even have a coach that I believe speaks passable French, Swedish and German? (I could be way off.)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  10. RobinSparkles

    RobinSparkles Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I don't know if you have any contacts with gyms in Canada, but there's a pretty sizeable population of Chinese, Korean, and Filipino people on the west coast of Canada.

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  11. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I understand your point, and don't disagree from a professional sport standpoint. However, I still can't imagine what people here in the states would say if they had to travel to Europe every year for a 2-3 day competition for what is a non-professional sport. If cheer were a professional sport like cricket, no one would expect a handicap. But, it's not pro, these kids aren't getting paid, there are no scouts offering big contracts, or universities offering huge scholarships, and Varsity is still at a B2 Moody's credit rating because they aren't taking in enough money compared to their debt ratio from acquisitions. I would love to see these kids receive some funding, but until cheer can attract a fan base that truly supports the sport and gains sponsors, funding will continue to fall on the backs of the athletes and parents.
     
  12. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    In my head, I was thinking amateur high-school aged teams, but your point is well taken. There aren't many professional sports that are mostly 13-18 year-olds, so I'm not sure what would be a fair analogy.

    My issue is strictly with teams that place top ten in prelims not advancing to finals. I am OK with pushing more non-US or non-Canadian teams in also if it doesn't directly affect those who would have made it in score-wise. The geography-limited rule has helped us (by eliminating some of the best teams from finals) as many times as it has hurt us, but that is the specific part that many US coaches have a hard time with. Yes, there are some other options now and we are moving several teams over to those divisions, but the rules/ages/etc don't line up the same. The prospect of potentially putting together enough resources to be a strong medal contender, but facing a real threat to not advance if you make even a small mistake is a pretty major negative when picking divisions.

    I understand that Varsity bought a TON of companies to help corner the event market and taken on debt as a result, but they are still wildly profitable on the all star and uniform side from what I have been told. They stand to actually benefit the most financially if cheer grows internationally far more than a random cheer gym in the US. You could take the top 200 US cheer programs and their combined revenues would still be a small fraction of Varsity's. They also have far more resources to actually strategically invest in supplementing travel/competition costs for outside teams.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  13. CLynn

    CLynn I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    Perhaps local gyms could find families willing to host athletes?
     
  14. Hilton Holian

    Hilton Holian I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    My team had a bit of a nightmare at World's when one of our athletes broke his leg Thursday. With the cost of getting to world's from Ireland so high, we didn't have any reserves with us so had to fly one in. Cheer Athletics and topgun gave us practise time on Saturday which made a huge difference, thank you!

    The problem is, we started our season with 22, full team elite sequences, full team kick doubles/switch kick doubles and great experience. When it came time to commit to the financials of worlds, 10 were able to go. We ended up taking on athletes from our lower levels to make the minimum 16 required. That happened in February. We had a very short amount of time to get inexperienced athletes world's ready.
    We are certainly in favour of the 3 country rule in International divisions although not entirely comfortable with it. I couldn't sell a 2.5 minute event for what it costs.
    However I am aware that we left some of our strongest athletes at home due to cost, and that's probably not something American gyms are required to think about, athletes not finishing the season because the flight and hotel cost. I'm sure you have all sorts of issues of your own!
    The development of cheer has been slow but the costs associated with it have continued to skyrocket. I think international teams are starting to become priced out of all star and that needs to stop. Coach training is also a problem. After 10 years running our gym, I'm still coaching at all levels because we can't get enough coaches and are relying now on senior athletes to become assistant coaches and move up, but then they move off to college and we're back at square one.
    We are also limited to the amount of comps and hence feedback we can attend and receive in Ireland.
    And then the cost of choreography and music is deafening to my parents so we need to shave this wherever possible.
    Cost, coaching, opportunity all add up to hurdles that are becoming harder to jump every season.
    Any help from gyms who have been there is definitely appreciated and would be welcome on all fronts from gyms in countries like ours, where any small step in the right direction is a victory. It's never easy, ever.
     
  15. DonnaM

    DonnaM I text ACEDAD all the time

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    Would it be possible to contribute air miles? It never seems that I can actually use them for comp travel (or practically any other travel we need to do), but maybe they would be useful for international travel, at least for part of the trip?