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Cheery times for cheerleading

SEEKING SPONSORSHIP: BCF are looking for funds
SEEKING SPONSORSHIP: BCF are looking for funds

Federation seeks league sponsor after BNSC affiliation

Cheered by their recent confirmation as a Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) affiliate, the little known sport of Cheerleading has big plans for the future.

As well as desperately looking for a sponsor to pave the way for a first ever league, the ambitious sports body have half an eye on possible qualification for the 2024 Olympics.

Outlining their immediate plans to Voice Sport, Botswana Cheerleading Federation (BCF) Spokesperson, Tirelo Ditshidi revealed they are working on securing a backer to finance a maiden Cheerleading League.

“We have also been working on a safety return plan. Cheerleading is a team sport consisting of 16 to 24 members, which could be a challenge with regards to Covid-19 protocols,” she said.

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Despite their ambition, Ditshidi admitted the road to success would be long and hard for a sport still very much on the fringes locally.

“Mind you, we were only recently confirmed as BNSC affiliates and a lot has to be done in reviving and even introducing this sport to people as it is unpopular in our country,” she conceded, adding they are still in transition from provincial to full BNSC membership.

Giving an insight into the current state of cheerleading in Botswana, Ditshidi told Voice Sport there were 14 registered clubs in the country.

“We managed to host our first National Cheerleading Championships last year as well,” she added proudly.

Held in July, the historic event saw Team Royal Blues tumble their way to victory, with Team Cheer Phantom and Team Beasty in second and third.

Displaying a desire to take the sport to the very top, Ditshidi insisted the International Olympics Committee’s (IOC) recent recognition of the International Cheer Union (ICU) could have far reaching consequences for domestic cheerleading.

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“We are thinking hard on the road to the 2024 Olympics which I believe is possible looking at the crème de la crème we have from the previous tourney. The future looks bright in this sport as most of our cheerleaders are still within suitable age groups,” concluded the optimistic spokesperson.

Cheerleading or CheerSport involves performance of organised cheering, dance, gymnastics and acrobatics.

Routines typically range between one to three minutes, and contain components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers and stunting.

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