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Presentation of Cheerleading in Slovenia

 

The beginnings of cheerleading in Slovenia date back to year 1995 when Dr. Srečo Zakrajšek and Vojko Korošec constructed an idea to create a project that would unite sports, cultural and educational activities. The result of this was the birth of the School Basketball League, which was the beginning of cheerleading and cheer dance groups. When the idea became a reality, they invited dance and cheerleading experts to form the rules and the competition system. The schools that entered the School Basketball League Project also formed the first organized cheerleading and cheer dance groups in Slovenia. The beginnings were difficult since we were short handed with staff that could train the children, however, with the help of educational seminars led by international experts, the coaches and participants acquired the necessary knowledge. The Slovenian susceptibility for dancing also highly influenced the development of the sports and teams had improved greatly by the first official championships.


Slovenian teams did not wait long to enter international competitions, where they achieved good results. One such competition was the European Cheerleading Championship in Stuttgart in 1997, where the founding meeting of the European Cheerleading Association was held. As a full and founding member, Zavod ŠKL was given the right to organize cheerleading competitions where competitors could qualify for participation in further European Championships.


Due to the rapid development of cheerleading and the complexity of forming a separate competition system, Zavod ŠKL assisted in the founding of the Slovenian Cheerleading and Pom Pon Association and passed on the license for organizing competitions. The Association was therefore founded on May 11, 1999 and was accepted in the National Olympic Committee and European Cheerleading Association. Vojko Korošec became the founder and President of the Slovenian Cheerleading and Pom Pon Association and still holds the position today. The ECA meeting in Berlin in July 1999 was another big step for cheerleading in Slovenia as dr.Srečo Zakrajšek was voted the vice president of ECA and Slovenia was accepted in the International Federation of Cheerleading. One year later, Slovenia was chosen as the host of the 6th European Cheerleading Championship, which they carried out successfully in cooperation with Zavod ŠKL.


Over the years the Association has grown and cheerleading and cheer dance have developed greatly. There are over 500 active members coming from several clubs around the country that compete in various competitions held throughout the season. The qualifiers of the National Championships participate in European Championships every year achieving great results. National teams are assembled every two years and participate in the Cheerleading World Championships. The Slovenian dance national teams have won gold at all World Championships so far.


8 years later, Slovenia has once again been chosen as the host of the European Cheerleading Championship, however, much has changed in the meantime. The number of teams and participants has increased greatly turning the ECC into a 2-day championship and thus proving that we are on a good road towards reaching our goals of spreading the popularity and recognition of cheerleading both nationally and internationally.