According to Dictionary.com, “A sport is an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature”. Often, people debate about whether cheerleading is a sport or not. Based on the definition above, competitive cheerleading is a sport. Cheerleading takes strength, talent, and commitment. Cheerleading isn’t what it used to be.
First of all, cheerleading is just as dangerous as any other sport. Linda Villarosa states, “The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System points to 4,954 emergency room visits by cheerleaders in 1980, and over the past 20 years that number has increased steadily”. This shows that cheerleading isn’t just saying, “go team”, but girls and boys put their bodies in dangerous stunt positions unlike any sport. Injuries are occurring because cheerleading isn’t considered a sport and safety equipment is underutilized. Cheerleaders put themselves at risk when they have other girls standing on them as well as when they are being lifted up.
Like many sports, cheerleading takes strength and talent. The coaches put together a creative and difficult routine for their athletes to perform. Teams are grouped by level and each level has restrictions defining allowable stunts/tumbling skills. These routines are evaluated by judges. Renee R. states, “They are awarded points for difficulty, technique, creativity and sharpness. The more difficult a mount or a stunt, the sharper and more in-sync the motions, the better the score”. If cheerleading is a lot like gymnastics then why isn’t cheerleading considered a sport? Cheerleaders are athletes that strive to make their routine perfect and sharp, so that they can place well at the competitions they attend.
Lastly, cheerleaders are committed to their sport just as much as any other athlete. Every athlete does extra work to improve his or her skills. Cheerleaders are committed to their team and are determined to perfect their skills to better the team. Everyone wants to do their best. Like other athletes, cheerleaders are practicing non-stop so they can be the best they can be. Linda Villarosa states, “Dancing for 30 minutes and lifting a 130-pound person over your head are difficult. These are not out-of-shape kids, but committed athletes”. This shows that cheerleading isn’t a joke, but a real sport with dedicated athletes competing to win.
Hopefully, someday cheerleading will get credit for being a sport like it should. It isn’t just for these athletes not to get credit for their efforts, considering all the time and energy that they put into cheerleading. There is so much skill and effort required in cheer that it should be considered a sport.
"Dictionary.com - The World's Favorite Online English Dictionary!" Dictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
Villarosa, Linda. "Cheerleading Changes, and Injuries Increase." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2000. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
R., Renee. “Cheerleading is a Sport.” Teen Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.