Cheerleading by xuyuzhu

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									       Why is it that many Americans today are claiming cheerleading is not a sport? Just

because cheerleaders don’t tackle each other into the

ground, roll around on a mat in spandex together, or run

around in a circle touching bases doesn’t mean what they

do isn’t hard. Cheerleaders have to be in top physical

condition to perform the stunts they do, yet other athletes

and disbelievers are still claiming what they do is easy.

Athletes may lift weights, but cheerleaders lift athletes.

When was the last time you saw a member of the NFL do

a standing back tuck after scoring a touchdown? Or a

group of NBA stars get together and send one of their

team members up into a heel-stretch? Yeah…I didn’t think so.


       The problem with disbelievers in this case is that they seem to be too stubborn to even

consider calling cheerleading a sport. When presented with the fact of how dangerous

                                                              cheerleading is or the number of

                                                              injuries it produces each year, the

                                                              response, which I have heard countless

times from macho jocks, is “That is only because they are dumb girls that don’t know what they

are doing.” Wow…that is such an intelligent thing to say.
       It could also be that some of Americans are still living in the 80’s where cheerleading

consisted of screaming at the top of your lungs “GO TEAM GO” and the occasional split, kick,

or pyramid. Cheerleading is nothing like that today. Cheerleading has grown extremely

competitive and dangerous within the last 20 years. Teams are now attending weekly

competitions half the year and doing more and more dangerous stunts. These cheerleaders are

also not equipped with protective pads like most sports. According to the National Center for

Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, cheerleading is the number one cause of serious sports

                                  injuries to women. The Emergency room visits due to

                                  cheerleading related injuries are five times more than any other

                                  sport. If a football player makes a mistake out on the field, the

                                  only thing lost is the game. If a cheerleader makes a mistake, a

                                  life could be lost.


                                          According to dictionary.com, a “sport” is defined as “an

                                  athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a

                                  competitive nature.” Cheerleading follows all of these

                                  guidelines, and includes a lot of physical activity. Cheerleaders

                                  perform difficult gymnastic and stunting skills at the same time.

                                  Cheerleaders also follow guidelines of competition, just like

                                  football and basketball. There are strict rules and regulations

regarding which stunts are appropriate in different levels. It takes a lot of teamwork and

synchronization in order for a cheerleading routine to be first place material. When it comes

down to it, competitive cheerleading is a sport. It is a physical activity that requires skill and is

governed by guidelines and rules through which a winner is announced.
       I believe it is time for America to become more open minded about what cheerleading

really is so the hardworking cheerleaders in the world can finally get the respect they deserve as

athletes. If some activities that require no

physical activity such as golf, poker, and

fishing can be considered a sport, while

constantly filling the television time on ESPN,

why can’t cheerleading? I don’t know about

you, but last time I checked, poker injuries were down this year.

								
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