AZUSA, Calif. – To bring greater public awareness to an emerging collegiate sport, Azusa Pacific University will host the Stunts & Tumbling Cougar Showcase, Friday, April 16, in the Felix Event Center at 7 p.m.
Azusa Pacific’s nationally-honored stunts & tumbling team will perform a 90-minute competitive exhibition that is open to the public and is free of charge.
With its roots in competitive cheerleading, stunts & tumbling is a relatively new sport that combines the athleticism of gymnastics with the artistry of cheerleading in a high-energy, fast-paced competition that is sweeping across college campuses. The exhibition will include several demonstrations of both individual and group performances along with on-going explanations of performance requirements and scoring.
Earlier this year 8 universities from across the United States came together to form the National Competitive Stunts & Tumbling Association (NCSTA), which will act as the governing body and coaches association for the evolution of competitive cheerleading. Charter members of the NCSTA include Azusa Pacific, Baylor, Fairmont State, Fort Valley State, Maryland, Oregon, Ohio State and Quinnipiac.
“People are going to be attracted to stunts & tumbling as a new sport because of the athletic skills that it requires and the excitement that it creates among spectators,” said Azusa Pacific Director of Athletics Bill Odell. “We want to help put it on the forefront of new sports in college athletics and this showcase will allow us introduce it to the Southern California public.”
Azusa Pacific is one of the few non-NCAA Division I schools to feature a stunts & tumbling team, and yet the Cougars have already proven to be quite successful against the “big” schools. Azusa Pacific’s 20-athlete team finished second to the University of Oregon and beat Ohio State University in a tri-meet in February. In addition, the Cougars proved to be the top stunts & tumbling team in California when they downed San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly in the west coast regionals 2 months ago.
“This is a great sport for women that is going to grow tremendously in the next few years,” said Azusa Pacific Head Coach Colleen Karsrud. “Those who were high school cheerleaders and competitive by nature are going to find a natural outlet in stunts & tumbling. And those who just enjoy good competition with exciting entertainment are going to enjoy their experience with stunts & tumbling event.”
Azusa Pacific closes out the competitive portion of the 2009-10 season this week at the Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Calif. The Cougars return home next week to host the showcase.