Is Cheerleading a Sport

April 16, 2018 Sports

Is Cheerleading a Sport? Cheerleading was first introduced at Princeton University in 1884. There at Princeton University the audience that attended the football games came up with a cheer that involved yelling and chanting to encourage their team. The initial stages of cheerleading were simply just crowd involvement. Over 100 years later, skills have progressed and become extremely complex, cheerleading is now a form of entertainment that uses organized routines. These routines are made up from elements of tumbling, synchronized dancing, jumps, cheers, and stunting.

Cheerleading has evolved and the risk of being a cheerleader has evolved as well. For many years there has been a debate on whether or not cheerleading truly is a sport. So why is it that cheerleading isn’t recognized as a sport in the state of Texas? “More and more young cheerleaders are ending up in the ER after being injured during a cheerleading routine,” Orthopedic Surgeon William Bryan, M. D. of The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. More than 16,000 cheerleaders are seriously injured every year in accidents involving some stunts and tumbles.

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Out of the nation’s 2. 9 million female high school students that participate in school organized teams, only 3% are of them are cheerleaders. But, out of the 2. 9 million female athletes, cheerleading is responsible for 65% of all catastrophic injuries in high school athletics. And 67% of female athletes at the college level are due to cheerleading mishaps. Dr. Sally Harris, a specialist in sports medicine and pediatrics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation states that part of the problem when it comes to cheerleading is that it isn’t classified as a sport by many schools.

Because of this, cheerleading doesn’t get the same support the other sports get in terms of access to trainers and appropriate facilities. One of the most dangerous “school activities” is cheerleading. Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia are 11 states out of the 50 states that make up the United States of America that recognize cheerleading as a sport. Competitive cheerleading is now being looked at as perhaps being considered as a sport but has not been given the actual title.

Competitive cheerleading differs from a school organized cheerleading team by having the main focus predominately on cheerleading only. School organized cheerleading teams are created as a form of getting a crowd more involved at a game. Some are given the option to compete. “Most schools are more than happy to encourage their school teams to compete, as long as they remember that the number one reason they are there is to support the football and basketball team,” says Susan Loomis of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

But, many cheerleaders beg to differ. Nicole Perryman, 17, and captain of her high school cheerleading team agrees. “Cheering at football games is the fun side of cheerleading, but the thing I like most is that we compete. We look forward to our weekly practices just like the football players look forward to their games. A lot of guys said ‘No, No. cheerleaders aren’t athletes. Until I showed them my muscles,” she says. As a current cheerleader and a coach to many cheerleaders, along with Perryman, I too beg to differ.

A petition in February of 2005 was posted targeting the same question. “Is cheerleading a sport? ” It was requesting people to respond on whether they thought cheerleading was a sport. Obviously, the cheerleaders and supporters said, “Yes”. While others left remarks stereotyping a cheerleader and not actually touching base on the actual question. Although, there are many people who have opinions of sports and enjoy to stereotype athletes, they still recognize that athlete with a sport. As a cheerleader I do consider myself as an athlete.

I do my fair share of training just as other sports require one to do so. My daily exercise routine consists of proper dieting, running, weight lifting, and circuit training. Many people do not recognize the hard work that goes into being a cheerleader. Those who may consider understanding are those who train in a sport. There is not much of a difference, besides the obvious, an athlete trains in the specifics of the sport that they are training for. And as a coach, I teach proper technique which will help reduce risks of cheerleading injuries.

Proper lifting drills, stretching, and building trust in one another are major points that I teach as a cheerleading coach. I strongly feel that cheerleading should and does need to be recognized as a sport. Work Cited “Sport or not a sport: Consider Dan the expert”. The Stanford Daily. 2004-09-29 http:// www. dailystanford. edu/article/2004/9/29/sportNotASportConsiderDanTheExpert. Nico_not_tellin, “Is cheerleading a sport? ” Petition Spot 2005-02-23 http:// www. petitionspot. com/petitions/sfaskhfsa

Drevitch, Gary, “Is cheerleadinga sport? More schools are saying yes, pushing a new competitive spirit from the sidelines to the spotlight” New York Times 2001-11-26 http:// findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0BUE/is_6_134/ai_n18612733 “Cheerleading Dangers”. http:// www. connectwithkids. com/tipsheet/2002/101_dec04/cheer. html Kovacik, George. “More and More Cheerleaders Sidelined by Injuries” Texas Medical Center 2008/11/15 http:// www. texasmedicalcenter. com/root/en. TMCServices/News/200811-15


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