Cheerleading: Is It a Sport?

A hot topic among sports programs nationwide, and even worldwide, is whether cheerleading should be considered a sport. More and more, sports programs are including cheerleading as a sport, realizing that cheer competitions are just as intense and demanding as any other sport competition.

The fact that cheerleaders don’t tackle opponents to the ground for a ball does NOT mean that they are not athletes. Cheerleaders work just as hard as “real athletes” work. Practices are just as intense and competitions are even more intense then a basketball or football game.

This sport, unlike most, is not a selfish one. Part of being on a cheerleading squad is appreciating and cheering on fellow athletes. The same athletes that insult Cheerleading. What is it that qualifies an activity to be a sport? Is it the ball? No, wrestling is a sport and it doesn’t contain a ball. Is it the practice? Nope, cheer practices are more intense than many other sports’ practices. The audience? No, can’t be that either, audiences at competitions out number those at many ball games! So WHAT is it?! Cheerleading takes just as much dedication and skill as any other sport, sometimes it takes more. The problem is that other athletes have no idea what it takes to be a cheerleader. A good cheerleader makes it look so easy.

Cheerleaders fly through the air with grace and catch teammates as though they are feathers floating from the sky. They don’t understand the technique and time it takes to master such skills. Cheerleading is not a game, like football or basketball, cheerleading is a way of LIFE. Cheerleading, more than any other sport, teaches important skills such as cooperating. Let’s face it, if a cheerleading squad can’t cooperate, stunts can’t hit and people get hurt.

Other sports ENCOURAGE team cooperation, and they may lose a game if they fail to cooperate. What does a “sport” have that cheerleading doesn’t? Cheerleaders practice, compete, have rules, go through training, sweat, fall, get hurt, and dedicate their lives to cheerleading…there is NO REASON why cheerleading should not be considered a sport.

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