Welcome back to our series, Cheerleading History, where we look at the history of cheerleading and how it has shaped the sport as we know it today.
This week, we will be looking at cheerleading between 1987 and 1989.
Cheerleading continued to grow in popularity across the United States, which meant there needed to be a creation of safety standards. These safety standard would be accepted in all states, and would also provide a place for coaches to be tested on their cheerleading safety knowledge. “… Jeff Webb’s organization directs the development of a new non-profit entity called “American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators” (AACCA) to teach, as well as safety test cheerleading coaches around the USA, and eventually the world.” AACCA “…quickly becomes the standard for cheerleading safety in the USA…” AACCA’s safety standard begin to be duplicated around the world, helping to continue to grow the sport of cheerleading around the world.
With syndicated broadcasts of cheerleading on ESPN, it was only a matter of time before United States based cheerleading companies expanded overseas. “Through business sports contacts in the United States, Japanese businessmen ask UCA and Jeff Webb to introduce cheerleading to the youth of Japan, and UCA Japan is born. Over the next 15 years, UCA operates training camps throughout Japan, and assists in the development of Japan’s cheerleading competitions. Japan cheerleading begins, the first organized training camps in Asia.”
With cheerleading gaining popularity in Asia, it was also gaining popularity in the UK. “Although cheerleading recently is started in the United Kingdom, UCA also decides to send USA cheerleaders each year to participate in the January 1st, 1989 London New Year’s Day Parade providing a promotional platform for modern-day cheerleading. Over the next 20+ years, over 1,000 cheerleaders from the USA, and also around the world continue to participate at this annual historical event before thousands of views in London’s streets.” Cheerleaders who attend UCA High School camps across the country have the opportunity to try out as an All American at camp. The lucky few who are selected as an All American are presented with the opportunity to attend the London New Year’s Day Parade.
Check out the video below between 4:35 and 7:14 to see cheerleading between 1986 and 1989.
Next week we will look at cheerleading more in-depth between 1990 and 1992.
Check out all of the articles in this series here:
This article contains information from cheerunion.org, The International Cheer Union website. Please visit their website for more historical information or other cheerleading related information.
History of Cheerleading. (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2015, from http://cheerunion.org/history/cheerleading/
Retrieve September 28th, 2015 from 40 Years of UCA – Anniversary Highlight Reel. UCA/ Varsity Spirit, 2014. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rocJZGainI