FEATURING ROBIN COE (DOUBLE GOOD) AND DAVID SIMS (YCADA)
Double Good recently partnered with the Youth Cheer and Dance Alliance (YCADA), a non-profit providing universal governance of education, rules, and scoring for participation in the sport of youth cheer, dance or spirit-related events, to accelerate our collective impact in the youth cheer and dance community. Not only does this mean support in the form of need-based scholarships for teams, organizations, and coaches throughout the 2022-2023 season, but Double Good will also provide in-person support at events like the 2023 YCADA Globals and 2023 Coaches Conference.
As we kick-off this exciting partnership, we asked Robin Coe, our Head of Partnerships, to speak with YCADA’s Executive Director, David Sims, about YCADA and the new partnership with Double Good.
ROBIN: David, we have known each other for 15 years, but some of our customers may be unfamiliar with YCADA. What is YCADA’s mission?
DAVID: YCADA, is committed to helping grow the youth recreational cheer and dance market by promoting consistency in scoring, level rules, education, participant safety, and the sportsmanship and spirit of the sport. YCADA remains dedicated to youth athletes maintaining active participation and matriculation in youth recreation leagues and organizations. YCADA continues to remain dedicated to meeting the changing needs of this diverse community.
ROBIN: What inspired the founders to create a non-profit organization to support this mission?
DAVID: The concept of YCADA first began in 2010, when Julie and Marty Grogan, first recognized the need for a cheerleading and dance organization focused specifically and solely on the Youth and Recreation cheerleading/dance industry. While during this time there were organizations focused on School Cheerleading (AACCA) and All Star Cheerleading (USASF), there were no organizations that focused on the education and development of youth and recreation cheerleading/dance. Our founders recognized that Youth and Recreation cheer and dance athletes deserved and needed a unified set of rules, scoring, and education in order to modernize the sport and continue to support the growing athletic endeavors of youth athletes. It was important that the organization be unbiased in its administration of rules, education, and scoring but it was equally important that the organization provide its educational resources in an economical way. YCADA understood that most youth coaches were volunteers who were often moms and dads who had minimal knowledge of the sport of cheerleading and dance. It was from that understanding that YCADA was able to create rules, scoring, and educational resources that were designed in a way to not overwhelm or talk over the heads of these coaches but meet them at their level of understanding of the sport. I think our development of the YCADA 101 course, the first cheerleading and dance online education course designed specifically for the youth and recreation coach supported this important goal within YCADA’s mission.
ROBIN: When did you get involved with YCADA?
DAVID: I first became involved with YCADA in 2012 when the organization was first beginning. I was the first Head Rules official for YCADA and developed the first set of YCADA Level Rules. At the time I was an attorney in California focusing on technology antitrust litigation at one of the top antitrust firms in California. So interpreting rules was something that somewhat came second nature to me. After Year 1 of the creation of YCADA, I saw the dramatic effect YCADA’s standardization of rules, scoring, and education had on the development of youth cheerleaders, dancers, and coaches. It was at that moment that I decided that it was time to take the tools and education I learned as an attorney and use them full-time for the greater good within youth and recreation cheerleading and dance.
ROBIN: What attracted you to the organization?
DAVID: It was the unwavering dedication YCADA, its founders, and its staff had for Youth cheerleading and dance. At YCADA we always say that “YOUTH is where it begins”. We live this every day at YCADA. This is especially true because most people don’t recognize most cheerleaders’ first contact with the sport of cheerleading and dance occurs with an athlete’s participation in a youth and recreation league or organization. This is the athlete’s first contact with the sport so their experience in that first contact is vitally important. If YCADA can support and foster excitement, love, and understanding of cheerleading and dance in an athlete’s first contact with the sport, we have the potential to create a lifelong athlete in the sport.
ROBIN: The first YCADA member to use our platform was in May 2018. But it really took off when the New England Pop Warner Region raised over $83,000 that fall. Why do you think YCADA Athletes are so successful with Double Good Virtual Fundraising?
DAVID: I think YCADA athletes love their coaches and love the sport they are in. When you combine great educated coaches, imparting scholastic, and athletic achievements in their athletes you are able to create and foster a true community within the sport. That community and family atmosphere YCADA athletes enjoy is demonstrated in their tenacity in fundraising to expand their participation in the sport. When friends, families, and supporters of these athletes see the community and bonds these YCADA athletes have created, I think it becomes easier for them to support these athletes financially through the Double Good Virtual Fundraising platform. Also, let’s not forget our YCADA athletes are cheerleaders and dancers, and they tend to be outgoing athletes. The Double Good Virtual Fundraising platform allows athletes, their families, and coaches to tap into their social media accounts and use them to support their fundraising goals. It was technology and modernization that allowed YCADA to invest in our athletes and coaches, beginning in 2012, and conversely, it is the Double Good Virtual Fundraising Platform that allows the athletes’ community to invest in them.
ROBIN: What was your first indication that a Partnership with Double Good could unlock more opportunities for YCADA youth?
DAVID: Back in 2017 I had the pleasure of meeting some of the executives of Double Good and taking a tour of the Double Good manufacturing facilities. It was at this point I knew Double Good had a creative way to leverage social media and technology to reinvent the way athletes fundraise. It was at this time I tasted my first Double Good popcorn and was even more impressed that Double Good “HIT ZERO” (a cheerleading terminology of a flawless routine) in both the modernization of fundraising and creating an amazing tasting popcorn. I think Double Good and YCADA have a shared mission to support and enhance the athletic accomplishments of youth athletes and coaches. Unfortunately, cheerleading and dance like all sports come with a financial cost. I think it is through our shared mission that it became clear that with the support of Double Good, YCADA could continue to support the athletic accomplishments of our most economically disadvantaged athletes and truly create an equal playing field for all athletes in the sport regardless of economic adversities.
ROBIN: Personally, I’m looking forward to providing opportunities to kids and coaches that they haven’t been able to experience before. What excites you about this Partnership opportunity?
DAVID: YCADA has always been about education and creating athletic opportunities. On the education side, since 2012, YCADA has released our YCADA Rules and Scoring, but also our YCADA online education platform for coaches. This online education included the first-ever dedicated Rules Questions Submission form which allowed youth coaches for the first time to send rules questions and videos to YCADA Rules Team staff to provide feedback on the legality of those submitted skills and questions. YCADA continues to expand our online education and in 2019 produced the industry’s first YCADA National Coaches Conference in Las Vegas focused exclusively on youth and recreation cheer and dance coaches. On the athletic opportunities side, YCADA in 2018 produced its first YCADA Globals Championship which for the first time in history brought youth and recreation cheerleaders/coaches from different national, regional, and local organizations together to compete at 1 event with a unified set of rules and scoring. The Double Good partnership is exciting because it prioritizes both the educational needs of our YCADA coaches but also expanding athletic opportunities for our YCADA athletes. I think Double Good’s partnership with YCADA on need-based scholarships to the 2023 YCADA Globals (February 24-26, 2023 – Atlantic City, NJ) and the 2023 YCADA National Coaches Conference (May 11-12, 2023 – Las Vegas, NV) will have the largest impact on expanding access to YCADA coaches and athletes to these 2 great events.
ROBIN: What’s on the horizon for YCADA?
DAVID: I think YCADA will continue to expand and grow, as we meet the educational and athletic endeavors of our YCADA coaches and athletes. Of course, we would love to see every youth and recreation cheer/dance league become league members of YCADA. Most leagues are surprised to learn that there is no direct cost for cheer and dance youth and recreation leagues to join YCADA. Nevertheless, YCADA continues to have a proven product in our educational resources, events, and administration of the YCADA-level rules and scoring. We hope that more youth leagues take the opportunity to check out YCADA and learn more about the incredible benefits of YCADA League Membership.
ROBIN: Before I let you go, what is one thing you’d like our fundraising community to know about YCADA that I haven’t already asked?
DAVID: YCADA is truly an organization dedicated to Youth athletes and coaches, for it is YOUTH Where it begins in the SPORT of cheerleading and dance. Yes, youth and recreation cheer and dance are absolutely a SPORT. One of the main distinguishing aspects between an activity and a sport is that a sport has an established and unified set of education, scoring, rules, and rules interpretation. We understand the difficulty many youth leagues and organizations have in maintaining their own set of rules, education training, and scoring. YCADA takes this difficult and sometimes confusing work off the plate of the League Cheer/Dance Director and into the hands of YCADA where we have been providing these educational, scoring, and rules resources to our YCADA athletes and coaches for over 10 years. YCADA remains committed to the development and expansion of youth and recreation cheerleading and dance as a SPORT and we invite youth leagues from across the nation to join us in achieving these goals.
Applications for the need-based scholarship program Double Good established for teams attending YCADA Globals, coaches attending the YCADA Coaches Conference, and Y101 Course Certification for NEW YCADA League Members will open on November 6, 2022 and are accepted until January 5, 2023.
Whether you’re a coach, league, or judge, there are many benefits to being a member of YCADA and you can learn more about how to join here.