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Azusa Pacific Part of the NCSTA

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February 2, 2010
John Blake

“I believe that in our sport, change is needed. And we’re proud to be a founding member of the NCSTA that is leading this exciting transformation,” says Head Stunts & Tumbling Coach Colleen Kausrud.

So what is this change?

A group of eight universities from across the United States have come together to form the National Competitive Stunts and Tumbling Association (NCSTA), which will act as the governing body and coaches association for competitive cheer’s evolution into an NCAA sport. The current members include the head coaches and administrators from Azusa Pacific, Oregon, Maryland, Baylor, Quinnipiac, Fairmont State, and Fort Valley State, in addition to the club team at Ohio State.

"The potential of our sport is so great that it was vital everyone involved come together to make sure we realize all of it," said Oregon stunts and gymnastics head coach Felecia Mulkey. "I am incredibly proud to be part of a group of people who work so hard and so well together and have the same vision."

The goal of the NCSTA is to usher stunts and gymnastics into NCAA emerging sports status and eventually, a fully sanctioned varsity sport with an NCAA sponsored national championship.

NCSTA’s first step towards achieving their goal was revolutionizing the standard meet format.

“Creating this sport at the varsity collegiate level has always been about meeting the interests and abilities of hundreds of thousands of young women that participate in the sport nationally at the high school and club levels,” said Mike Bellotti, University of Oregon Athletics Director. “Giving those women an opportunity to compete and perform at the collegiate level is not only exciting and rewarding, but consistent with our goal of providing more opportunities for female student-athletes by starting a sport that has the potential for tremendous growth.”

An NCSTA stunts and gymnastics meet will have five rounds, four focusing on individual skills before the traditional team routine in the fifth round. Compulsory elements combined with optional elements will be included in the stunt round, pyramid round, basket round and tumbling round. The revised meet format will provide for a more well-rounded display of skill and athletic ability, in addition to being very fan friendly.

This scoring system will allow the NCSTA to award postseason honors, such as an All-America team, to these student-athletes.

“I’m glad that we are starting to separate from the stereotype of cheerleaders. We are athletes. I am excited for this new transition in competition” says APU Stunts & Tumbling sophomore Caitlin Borstelman.

On February 21, 2010, APU will head north to face off against the University of Oregon, Ohio State University, and the University of Georgia in the first-ever NCSTA west coast meet. The event will be hosted at the University of Oregon, and APU will try to make a statement for Christian universities and small schools across the country as they take of the Pac-10, Big 10, and SEC representatives.

The goal of the National Competitive Stunts and Tumbling Association (NCSTA) is to help guide stunts and gymnastics through the growing phase of becoming an NCAA sport. Based on the most recent high school sports participation survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, competitive spirit squads have 117,793 participating student-athletes nationwide, making it the ninth most popular women’s sport. With a new meet format, scoring system and statistics, the NCSTA will help to provide a collegiate athletics experience for an ever-growing base of high school stunts and gymnastics student-athletes