Dartmouth Moms Convince Board to Allow Cheerleaders to Compete in National Championship
Tanya Moniz says she was frustrated when she reached out to Fun 107 earlier this week. Her daughter, along with the rest of the Dartmouth Varsity Pop Warner cheer team, had placed third last weekend at the New England Regionals, earning an invite for a spot at the Pop Warner Nationals held each year at Disney World in Florida.
'"We're going to Disney!"' the girls cheered with joy on Saturday afternoon, only to be told later that the Dartmouth Youth Football League did not want to send them," Moniz said. "It was heartbreaking."
The problem was that while Dartmouth placed third in the competition, there were only four teams (due to a decrease of participation because of COVID). Before the competition, the DYFL board decided that they would only accept a spot at the Nationals if a team earned a score of 85 or higher. While this policy was communicated to the girls, the parents were not formally notified.
When the news was delivered to the team that the invite to the Nationals would not be accepted, it was a tough blow to the kids, and mothers on the team pleaded with the association to give the OK to let the girls cheer.
The board reconsidered and will now allow the Dartmouth varsity team to compete in Florida.
"I am extremely proud of our board for moving quickly, yet being thorough in gathering all of the information, understanding the situation, listening to everyone and doing the right thing," said Chris Pereira, President of the Dartmouth Youth Football League. "It's what any good organization should do and that's what we did. We are implementing safeguards and changes to ensure board requirements are properly communicated. We have great parents and volunteers who are the lifeblood of our league."
Moniz said fundraising for the trip is already underway.