UK Athletics to add STUNT as a varsity sport


The Wildcat mascot calls for the crowd to stand during the game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 67-62. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Cole Parke

The University of Kentucky has announced it is officially adding STUNT to their varsity athletics program, per Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart.

STUNT is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The sport consists of head-to-head competition between two teams that focuses on the technical and athletic components of cheer such as partner stunts, pyramids, group jumps, basket tosses, and rolls, according to USA Cheer. It was created as an opportunity for universities to meet Title IX requirements and to remove the crowd leading element that is present in cheer.

“We’re excited to add STUNT to our varsity program,” Barnhart said. “It is enjoying rapid growth and we believe the University of Kentucky can be a leader in this emerging sport.”

Kentucky currently hosts Stunt as a club team, but the university will soon join 55 other universities in featuring Stunt as a funded athletic program. Many of the athletes on the club team are expected to be a part of the roster next year, though the university is still looking for a coach.

Stunt, a spring sport, will feature its inaugural season from February through May 2022.

“There is very strong support for cheer at UK, in our community and across the Commonwealth,” Barnhart said. “Our goal is to provide competitive opportunities for these young women while building a team that will contend for national championships.”