Former NFL and NBA cheerleaders to lead 1,300 Pop Warner youth cheerleaders in attempt to capture record currently held by China.
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. (Nov. 11, 2011) – Tomorrow, more than 1,300 Pop Warner cheerleaders will join Science Cheerleader members in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ for the “World’s Largest Cheering Team” – a record currently held by China. Former NFL and NBA cheerleaders will lead the youth cheerleading squads in a five-minute cheer that touts the importance of science and engineering.
Both organizations marry sports with education, making the partnership a natural fit. The Science Cheerleaders are current and former professional cheerleaders for the NBA, NFL and UFL who are also pursuing careers in science and technology. The organization’s mission is to challenge science and cheerleading stereotypes and inspire the nation’s 3-4 million cheerleaders to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization, is the only youth sports organization that requires scholastic aptitude in order to participate. Pop Warner is committed to developing its young scholar athletes both on and off the field and annually awards its participants over $110,000 in total scholarships.
The current Guinness World Record™ was set in China during the 2008 Olympics with a cheer team of 1,200 people chanting a slogan that translates to, “I love it when China wins.” Pop Warner and Science Cheerleader will attempt to bring this record to the United States by breaking it at the Pop Warner Eastern Region Cheer Championships held at the Sun National Bank Arena.
“Pop Warner places a significant emphasis on academic achievement as well as athletics,” said Mary Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer, Pop Warner Little Scholars. “Joining with Science Cheerleader on this world record attempt enables our young athletes to interact with professional cheerleaders who serve as great role models of academic and personal achievement.”
“America does not have enough citizens in the pipeline to remain a global leader in scientific innovation,” said Darlene Cavalier, Founder of Science Cheerleader, and a former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader. “Women are underrepresented in science and technology careers, so we target this untapped resource by going where they are.”
Stats on the World Record Attempt
o Sun National Bank Arena, Trenton, NJ; Nov. 12th, 12 p.m.
o 1,300 cheerleaders, age 5-15, from DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA
o Led by local Science Cheerleaders including Erin Donnelly (former St. Louis Rams cheerleader, with a BA Biology, BA Psychology, working towards PsyD), Allison Grosso (former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader-turned-biochemist), Sammi Jo Cooper (former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who now teaches 8th grade science), Heidi Ingathon (former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader-turned-sports scientists) and Lauren White (representing the AFL, who cheered and now coaches for the Philadelphia Souls when she’s not teaching science).
o The cheer was choreographed by 2011 Ms. United States Laura Eilers and Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Commissioner Lisa Moroski
Science Cheerleader Christine McCarthy, a former L.A. Rams cheerleader who holds a PhD in geology, said, “We want to show these kids, and all the cheerleaders out there, that they can have fun cheering and dancing and still pursue fulfilling careers in science and technology at the same time.”
There are more than 100 Science Cheerleaders, profiled on ScienceCheerleader.com, who reach out to regular people from all walks of life, encouraging them to get involved in real scientific research through hundreds of citizen science projects at SciStarter.com.
Founded by Darlene Cavalier, former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader-turned-science advocate, Science Cheerleader works with more than 100 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders. They playfully challenge stereotypes, inspire kids to consider careers in science and technology, and encourage everyday people to get involved in real science activities through citizen science projects at SciStarter.com. Cavalier and her efforts with both organizations are featured in the December, 2011 issue of Discover Magazine. Learn more at www.sciencecheerleader.com and www.scistarter.com.
About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the world’s largest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Currently there are over 400,000 children in Pop Warner organizations in 43 states, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. The NFLPA estimates that 70% of all current NFL Players got their start in Pop Warner programs. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit www.popwarner.com, on Facebook or follow Pop Warner on Twitter at @Pop_Warner.
Interviews and Photos
o B-roll and still photos from the cheer will be available on Pop Warner’s Facebook page and Science Cheerleader’s Facebook page.
o Interviews are available with executives from both Science Cheerleader and Pop Warner, as well as a variety of cheerleaders participating in the event.