Why cheerleading is a sport

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Creative Commons Image

The great debate, “Is cheerleading a sport?” It’s the topic that will get any cheerleader fired up and ready to defend their side. The definition of sport from the Oxford Dictionary is “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Cheer has a competitive nature and it takes both mental and physical ability to succeed. Hollywood has made the “cheerleading character” into a fantasy where all the boys are after them, they’re dumb and they parade around in short skirts. Of course you should never trust the appearance of movies because it’s Hollywood and not reality. I am a high school cheerleader and I want to broaden the eyes of others on this topic.

First off, cheerleading has a purpose. The purpose is to encourage positivity and entertain at athletic games and events. Without cheerleaders the “circle of energy” in a game would be non-existent. It’s a sporting event tradition that has lasted for over 100 years.

Also cheerleaders do train for what they do. Just as a football player would, cheerleaders train too. How else do you think the girls get thrown in the air and come down safely? Cheerleaders have to lift weights and do cardio just as any other athlete would. I would work out twice a day in the summer to prepare myself for more advanced stunts. Stunting is the most exciting, entertaining, and dangerous part of cheerleading. Most injuries from cheer end up being concussions (which I’ve had from cheer), broken bones, stitches, and not to mention the endless bruises. It ranks 1st in the catastrophic sports injuries for women and 2nd in all sports combined next to football.

I believe every sport should have support from others because the athletes care and are passionate about what they do. Cheerleading has its challenges and rewards like every other sport and I believe it’s time for cheerleaders to be recognized for their hard work.