Varsity Spirit, the national leader in cheerleading education and competition, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the American Tradition Award from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Varsity Spirit received the American Tradition Award July 1 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans.
The American Tradition Award is presented to an individual, corporation, foundation or organization that has made a major financial or in-kind contribution to the NFHS or high school activities on a national level. Varsity Spirit will be the eighth recipient of the award, which was started in 1985 and is not given every year.
“Varsity has been a major contributor to the NFHS, state associations and high schools for many years, and we are pleased to recognize their efforts with the American Tradition Award,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “Varsity shares and promotes the mission of the NFHS by providing education and training to coaches and participants in a way that promotes school spirit, academic achievement, good citizenship and healthy lifestyles.”
Varsity Spirit, which was founded in 1974 and has been the driving force in the growth and development of cheerleading in the United States, has been an NFHS partner since 2003, during which time it has provided significant financial support for NFHS programs and services. The partnership was founded on the common belief that cheer squads contribute in a significant way to the positive school climate in education-based sports.
Two key components of the partnership have been coach education and rules writing. Education courses for cheerleading coaches are facilitated by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators (AACCA), and the AACCA Spirit Safety Certification is one of the online courses in the NFHS Learning Center at www.NFHSLearn.com.
Varsity and the NFHS have been partners in efforts to minimize risk of injury to all cheer and dance participants. The two organizations collaborate on the annual NFHS Spirit Rules Book to ensure that competition rules promote risk minimization.
Varsity has also worked with NFHS member associations to create STUNT, a new program opportunity for schools and states that assists in meeting Title IX requirements. Varsity also assists state associations in managing state and regional competitions, and provides training for judges who evaluate and score competitions.