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Cheerleading’s story within the FISU programme is just starting to be written as Lodz, Poland hosted the first World University Cheerleading Championship in 2018. Earlier, the Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade had incorporated a cheerleading festival into its cultural events schedule. 

EVENTS World University Championship

All Events Cheerleading

Lodz (POL)
5-6 Oct 2018


FISU Technical Committee Chairs


Evangelia KRITIKOU (GRE)


International Federation

International Cheerleading Union

The History of Cheerleading in FISU

Cheerleading’s story within both the sports world and FISU is just starting to be written. While the 2018 event in Lodz, Poland marks the first time cheerleading is part of the World University Championship calendar, FISU first showcased the cheerleading at the 2013 Kazan Summer Universiade.


At the inaugural event, cheerleaders from 10 Russian cities competed under the auspices of the Cultural Universiade for the right to be named the best cheer squad in Russia. It was only months earlier that the International Cheer Union, the governing body of cheerleading, joined the international Olympic sports fraternity as a recognised member. Since then, it’s no longer up for debate: cheerleading is a sport.


Cheerleading competitions are often held in two categories: Cheer and Cheer Dance. Cheer includes acrobatic elements into routines that are accompanied by chants and yells. Cheer Dance is a sport dance with gymnastics, where grace, synchronicity and plasticity of movement meet. It’s in Cheer Dance that the use of pompoms is also mandatory.


While cheerleading got its start in the United States in the twentieth century, the sport has experienced rapid growth, particularly internationally, in recent years. Today, the union’s ranks number 110 national federations and 3.5 million athletes. The top talent from this pool is expected to compete for the World University Championship crown in Lodz.  


By adding cheerleading to the World University Championship calendar, FISU is helping the sport go beyond the sidelines. The modern-day sport of cheerleading does away with the crowd-leading element to focus on the technical and athletic components of cheer. Look for everything from the partner stunts and pyramids to the basket tosses and tumbling routines from the World University Cheerleading Championships to set new standards of athleticism and technical precision within the sport.


Cheerleading at the 2018 FISU World University Championships 


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2018 POL Lodz 13 94 300 394 92 486