EMORY, Va. – Emory & Henry College will add competitive cheerleading and dance as varsity sports in the 2017-18 academic year, Director of Athletics Myra Sims announced Tuesday. Both programs will be coed and will enhance the College's current sideline cheerleading squad and the student-led dance team. A search is presently underway for a full-time Head Cheer & Dance Coach.
"E&H has had sideline cheerleaders for many years and they have been an important part of the College's athletics tradition," noted Sims. "Adding competitive cheer and an enhanced dance team will bring a completely new dimension of interest in the program."
The addition of cheer & dance and the revival of track & field is part of the College's larger initiative which seeks to increase enrollment by pairing faculty and staff with students in a variety of interests. The College will continue to add opportunities not only in athletics, but also academic opportunities and student life programming. Leaders in each of these areas will recruit students to a cohort-based model with the aim of developing a strong mentoring relationship similar to the interaction student-athletes have with their coaches.
"The addition of the Emory & Henry Marching Band has been a huge success in bringing new student enrollment to the College and for athletics by enhancing our already exciting game days," commented Sims. "We see enhanced cheerleading and dance as another opportunity which will bring enrollment and add to the game day atmosphere."
"We expect to have a full-time coach hired soon who will have recruitment goals just like the other coaches," Sims added. "Since these are not NCAA sports, we will be able to award talent-based scholarships for qualified students. I am excited about this initiative and am grateful that the administration is going in this direction."
With these additions, E&H increases its varsity sport offering to 22 with nine NCAA men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field), nine NCAA women's sports (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball), competitive cheerleading & dance, and the Intermont Equestrian IDA and IHSA teams. Emory & Henry was a charter member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in 1976.