ParaCheer International are revolutionising Cheerleading – and we’re supporting them every stunt of the way!
DSC’s Summer Festival 2017 performers ParaCheer International are empowering more disabled people to be part of integrated teams of disabled and non-disabled athletes on the world stage, and we’re supporting them every stunt of the way!
The charity was founded in 2014 to help steer the worldwide development of Cheerleading divisions specifically for those with physical and sensory disabilities. Between 2010 and 2014 Rick Rodgers, Chair of the board, performed with an integrated team at various world championships, to showcase the prospect of developing a fully inclusive cheerleading division – and that he did! ParaCheer International teamed up with the International Cheerleading Union (ICU) to create a fully inclusive ParaCheer division, allowing all disabled athletes the opportunity to perform at world championships.
Before ParaCheer, disabled athletes were often held back by a lack of adaption or awareness from mainstream cheerleading teams, which meant it was difficult for disabled athletes to get involved. ParaCheer deliver workshops to further promote the new division and to educate athletes and coaches about inclusive practice.
ParaCheer’s ultimate goal is to make Cheerleading truly inclusive.
ParaCheer Trustee, Chantal Epp said: “It is our hope as an organistion to create a space for people to work inclusively with all forms of disability, integrating with non-disabled participants, where everyone is equal, and ultimately breaking down the barriers in this sport and society as a whole. More and more of the next generation will get the chance to experience adaptation and understand that having a disability is not the problem.”
With Cheerleading on its way to becoming an Olympic sport, the hope is that the ParaCheer divisions are welcomed into the Paralympics, and inspiring more disabled athletes to be whatever they want!
The #WeCouldBe campaign aims to celebrate success and raise awareness of achievements in disability sport. From grassroots participation to community engagement, we’re showcasing how Disability Sports Coach ensures disabled people can fulfil their potential.