Response to Straits Times article on 16th April 2014

In response to the recent Straits Times article (see http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/cheerleaders-death-its-time-take-serious-look-cheerleadi for more information) written by reporter Ms Pearl Lee on the 16th April 2014, CAS would like to clarify that Ms Lee did not approach the association for any interviews or to obtain any facts or information relating to the cheerleading regulations in Singapore.  We have also initiated contact with Ms Lee when her articles relating to the unfortunate accident first came out in September last year, with the intention to make clear on her misleading reports, but we were met with no response.

As such, we hereby would like to clarify on the following misguided points within the article which were presented to the general public:

1)      The article mentioned that cheerleading is “yet to be recognized internationally as a sports event”. This is untrue as cheerleading has been recognized as a Sport upon the successful acceptance of the International Cheer Union as a SportAccord member in June 2013 (see http://www.cheerunion.org/news/?article_id=1 for more information).

2)      Ms Lee also inaccurately reported that “there is currently no formal organization that oversees the activity, and implements safety regulations and guidelines”.  CAS, constituted in 2003 and registered with the Registrar of Societies, is the National Governing Body for the sport of cheerleading under the International Cheer Union. The association operates with part of its objectives to promote excellence, including advancing, organizing, regulating and safeguarding the sport in all its forms. As such, we greatly emphasize safety as the utmost priority when it comes to the practice of cheerleading during the coaching certification administered by the association. Coaches are taught and tested on their knowledge of skills progression, spotting technique and proper safety environment for stunting, tumbling and tosses. We encourage all cheerleaders and parents to be vigilant in protecting themselves by making sure their coaches are credentialed by CAS.

CAS will be contacting the Straits Times again to reiterate these pointers and to seek an explanation for the misreported information. We hope that all reporters and news publishers will also play their part in responsible reporting of news and facts, in order to avoid misleading the general public with reports such as the above mentioned. Please also drop an email to cas@cheerleading.org.sg should there be any requests for interview or clarifications by reporters or news publishers. Thank you.

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