Australian Cheer Union FAQs

Some say, that the Australian Cheerleading Union (ACU) has come out of the blue, here are some FAQs to help with the understanding about Australia’s Governing Body for Cheerleading and the selection process for Team Australia 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who are the ACU and how did they become the governing body for cheerleading?
A. It is a complex process to become a national governing body for sport, involving the International Sport Accord, the International Cheer Union and the Australian Sports Commission. All of these bodies require an organisation to fulfil many criteria before accepting them as the national governing body.

The Australian Cheerleading Union, managed by Gymnastics Australia, was recognised as the governing body in 2013 at the ICU General Assembly.

Q. Has there been any consultation with the cheer community on what they want to see from a governing body? 
A. in 2014 the ACU contracted a consultant to survey the Australian cheer community to get their thoughts on what is needed for their sport and how they would like to see it governed. The consultant contacted as many cheer clubs as possible as well as all the leading event providers who were invited to discuss their views on the direction of the sport. Most, but not all, chose to be involved with this process. 
After collating the results of the survey, the consultant put together a paper which offered a number of alternatives for the future of Australian cheerleading.

Q. How are Gymnastics Australia involved and what are the benefits of their involvement to cheerleading? 
A. The Australian Cheerleading Union is managed by Gymnastics Australia (GA) who has years of experience in governing a sport with similar skills and risks to cheerleading. GA has infrastructure in place to govern the sport to ensure fairness, transparency and safety. In consultation with the cheer community, all or some of these areas can be adapted to suit the ACU: 
• club accreditation process – ensures a minimum standard for clubs
• coach accreditation scheme – linked to the Australian Sports Commission and a clear education pathway
• national member insurance scheme – bulk buying power gets insurance for personal accident, professional indemnity, public liability and other insurance add-ons 
• athlete transfer policy – stops poaching of athletes and makes sure athletes can’t move to a new club and leave debts behind
• WADA and ASADA – keeping drugs out of sport
• member protection policies – a fair way to deal with grievances
• sub committees of technical members to guide the sport – the community has input on the direction of the sport 
• Olympic Games – four of our gymnastics disciplines compete at the Olympic Games
• Experience sending teams to World Championships – we regularly have teams compete in major international events and coordinate the selection of coaches, athletes and officials based on clear selection policies

Q. What are the plans for the future of the ACU?
A. Gymnastics Australia manages the Australian Cheerleading Union and is in the process of setting the governance in place to further the development of cheerleading nationally. We want to involve the cheer community in making decisions about their sport.

Q. How did the selection process for Team Australia evolve?
A. Back in 2012, representatives from Aussie Gold, Australian All Star Cheer Federation, Australian Cheerleading Union/Gymnastics Australia and World Cup Cheer came together to develop the selection process for Dance Doubles, Dance Teams and Group and Partner Stunts. These criteria have been used since to determine the athletes who will represent Australian at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships.

Due to the addition of the Junior Division by the ICU for 2017, the selection policy will be reviewed, with members of the Cheer community invited to comment. process

Q. Has the ACU organised the selection process before?
A. Yes, since 2012 after the event providers and ACU/GA met to decide on the format.

Q. How can I contact the Australian Cheerleading Union?
A. Email: ausgym@gymnastics.org.au