Varsity All Star Leads with Love by Taking Competitions Virtual

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Every year, the all star season wraps up with end of season championships that teams and programs look forward to all year long. Teams shine as they showcase their routines one last time, finally polished after a full season of full outs and competition appearances. And this year, those final competitions looked a little bit different, including the 2020 U.S. Finals.

When COVID-19 caused competitions to cancel and delay for the safety of athletes and spectators, The U.S. Finals team went to work to find a way to help teams end their season in a way that allowed teams to compete, while keeping everyone safe. It wasn’t easy for anyone to end a season during times of uncertainty, but the Varsity All Star employees who work tirelessly behind the scenes all year long to make competition season possible, led with their love of the sport to help take The U.S. Finals competition experience virtual, so teams would have one last chance to see their hard work pay off. 

Alisa Burch, Vice President of Operations in Louisville, and her team were a big part of organizing the initiative to make the virtual U.S, Finals competition possible, giving over 300 teams and 5,000 athletes the opportunity to compete one last time for the 2019-2020 season. She’s been with the company for 12 years, and as a former dancer knows how important the sport of all star and the spirit of competition is for athletes and their coaches.“Our sport creates a strong foundation for children of all ages to develop & strengthen their self-confidence, team building, and the importance of commitment & sacrifice. All Star is also a great de-stressor and fulfills our competitive spirit,” she says. “ When we found out it wasn’t possible to end the season together at championships, we took a deep breath and started to look at all options. It was definitely a ‘whatever it takes’ mindset!”

Ending the season together, while apart, was difficult for everyone, but Varsity All Star knew how important it was to pivot and create an opportunity where there could be some sort of closure and excitement for the teams who’d worked so hard on their routines and skills.

“With so much uncertainty, it was important that we found a way to create not only some closure to the 19-20 season, but also excitement for the future. For The U.S. Finals virtual event, coaches and athletes showed a lot of excitement through social media and the BAND app. They were very appreciative of the opportunity and athletes enjoyed getting commemorative medals,” she says. “Throughout the pandemic, coaches have really rallied together to offer up ideas and suggestions on how to keep athletes engaged in all star.”

As the 2020-21 season approaches, the Varsity All Star employees who make these competitions possible are doing everything they can to prepare memorable experiences for everyone – virtual or live. Now, all star athletes can start their seasons from the comfort of their own gyms with Varsity All Star’s Virtual Competition Series. Participating teams across the country will compete head-to-head by uploading their videos to Varsity TV, where a certified judging panel will score routines and results will be shared. This series of events is a new offering this season, and Varsity All Star still plans to offer live events when and where they can be held safely.

As we all navigate these challenging times, Alisa’s advice for success is to lead with love and optimism. “A smile and positive attitude are contagious. I try each and every day to lead with the glass full of optimism!”

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