MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- USA Cheer is proud to announce that Samantha Duke, a STUNT athlete from Davenport University, has been chosen to represent the STUNT community at the Women's Sports Foundation's 37th Annual Salute to Women in Sports in New York City on October 19. Duke will take the stage as part of the procession of female athletes during the annual banquet recognizing excellence in female sports.
Billie Jean King founded the Women's Sports Foundation in 1974 with the goal of advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. This is the 37th year that the Women's Sports Foundation has hosted the event, which recognizes athletes in every sport from basketball to snowboarding. This is the third time an athlete from STUNT has been recognized by the foundation.
"The Women's Sports Foundation welcomes the sport of STUNT into the women's sports tent," says Deborah Slaner Larkin, Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Sports Foundation. "STUNT is developing to ensure girls and women interested in cheerleading have a new sport discipline that provides an opportunity exclusively for competition and delivers an equitable sports experience under Title IX."
"Having a STUNT athlete recognized by the Women's Sports Foundation is a testament to the hard work of the athletes, and the foresight of the many college programs that have embraced this exciting emerging sport," says Bill Seely, President of USA Cheer, which developed the sport of STUNT. "For the past three years, Samantha has proven herself to be a strong competitor, a dedicated teammate and an example for all athletes at Davenport University. I can think of no better athlete to represent STUNT at this impressive event."
Duke, originally from Mount Pleasant, Mich., was a STUNT All American in 2014 with Oklahoma State University, and in 2015 &'16, for Davenport University. She graduated from Davenport University in 2016 with honors and a degree in Medical Case Management. She currently works as a Patient Coordinator at i-Chiro Clinics, a chiropractic office in Grand Rapids.
"My involvement with STUNT was one of the highlights of my college career, both at Oklahoma State and at Davenport University," says Duke. "The thrill and respect of a STUNT game is incredible. You get the chance to perform your absolute best in every round you participate in, in every quarter."
Created by USA Cheer to be an additional sport option for female athletes, STUNT was derived from traditional cheerleading and developed to fulfill all NCAA emerging sport requirements, and has consistently met all minimum requirements for consideration. STUNT removes the crowd-leading of traditional cheerleading and focuses on the technical and athletic components, which include partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, jumps and tumbling skills.
About USA Cheer
The USA Federation for Sport Cheering is a not-for-profit organization and is the national governing body for all disciplines of cheerleading. USA Cheer exists to serve the entire cheer community, including club cheering (All Star), traditional school based cheer programs and the new sport of STUNT. USA Cheer has three primary objectives: help grow and develop interest and participation in Cheer throughout the United States; promote safety and safety education for cheer in the United States; and represent the United States of America in international cheer competitions.
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SOURCE USA Cheer