In 2016, just three weeks out from The Summit, a mother reached for her phone to check a text and veered into oncoming traffic causing a fatal crash that killed Champion Cheer athlete Tita and her mom, Emma. Four lives were lost that night, and a campaign began to outlaw texting and driving in Texas—a bill that was passed into law in September 2017.
From Whitney Fincher, owner of Champion Cheer:
“We just had the 3rd year anniversary of Emma and Tita passing this week. We released our balloons again and shared stories and everyone is wearing bright colors and tutus this week. We do this every year to not only continue to teach our gym about what kind of people they were but to also continue to bring awareness to how dangerous distracted driving is.
This probably would have been Titas year on Heat and it’s cool that our theme this year is Be the Light. Emma and Tita are the perfect definition of this theme means and everything we’re doing. And oh that girl would have loved that skirt! lol
I think we could all agree that sportsmanship has been better this year than it has been in years for our sport. Everything that happens in this sport, starts with us, the coaches and owners. As Worlds and Summit approaches I want to challenge us as a group to be the light. Below is a video of Fury’s performance at Summit just weeks after we lost them. There was so much love and support and it’s a memory no one will forget.
My point to this video is those athletes knew they had everyone’s support and it didn’t matter what color everyone wore or if we were in the same division or were next door neighbors… we were there for those kids.
Let’s as a group, finish our seasons, with athletes leaving Disney completely in love with the sport more than they ever have been and excited to compete again. Let’s give every team a crowd like this. Every team had to work hard to get there, finals or not, win or lose, every kid needs to look out from the floor and see how loved they are and they accomplished something great just by being there.
I know we’re all going to be busy, but if every coach, every program took the time to cheer on 1 or 2 other teams up close, what kind of difference could we make for these athletes.”