This is my fourth article in a series profiling prominent personalities in Canadian All Star Cheerleading. Alissa Stewart is the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Cheerleading Association (SCA) currently working from home in Regina.
In 1994-1999 Alissa was a cheerleader at O’Neill High School in Regina. After high school, Alissa was a Roughrider Cheerleader from 1999-2003, and did a year of double duty also joining the first ever University of Regina Cheer Team in 2002.
After high school, Alissa became the coach at O’Neill 1999-2003, and then at LeBoldus High School for 2003-2007. During these years as a coach, Alissa was frustrated by the inconsistencies at competitions: which province’s rules would be governing at the competition? were the judges certified? which provincial scoresheet would be used?
“It was a mess. There were so many details that needed to be sorted out … there were no age grids, no divisions; competitions typically had three categories: elementary cheer, high school cheer and high school pom.”
Alissa heard about a group of coaches who wanted to create a provincial organization for Saskatchewan. The founding members, including Alissa, met in Regina. Alissa used her personal credit card to pay the $50 for the original application to non-profit organization.
The SCA was founded in 2004, and Alissa was on the executive 2004-2008. The focus was on standardizing qualifications for judges, training for judges, standard score sheets that would be used province-wide. The ambitious executive launched the first Provincial Competition in 2006.
Alissa took a break from the SCA Executive for 2009-2011, and served only as a judge. In 2013 she volunteered on the board as judging director. During 2014-2016, Alissa served as the executive director part-time. As the SCA grew, the E. D. position evolved into full-time.
With her breadth of experience from the SCA, Alissa was elected to the board of directors for Cheer Canada for three years as Western Canada regional rep. She was selected to be part of the pre-Olympic strategic planning group. In 2019, Alissa attended Worlds representing Cheer Canada at the International Assembly.