Ms. M. Lauritsen
Cheerleading is a Sport
Many people stereotype cheerleaders as the pretty, popular airheads who stand on the sideline to look good, but that is further from the truth. Cheering at football games may appear unchallenging, but it takes a lot to memorize over a dozen cheers with hand motion and footwork. A sideline cheerleader isn’t the only kind of cheering that there is. There’s also competition cheering, competition cheering requires dance, tumbling (gymnastics), jumps, stunting and of course cheer.
Cheerleading has evolved over the years from an extra-curricular activity with the purpose of motivating spectators to an intense, competitive activity. Not only is it extremely demanding physically, it is also time consuming and requires coordination of twenty or more girls and/or boys. Cheerleading is similar to many team sports. Each team member has a specific job to do in order for the team to succeed. Cheerleaders on a competition team are not running up and down a court for four quarters, but they do have a fast, strenuous, and exhausting routine that is performed in two minutes or under. Those people that do not consider cheerleading a sport simply do not understand the physical demands; there is blood and dirt, with scrapes, falls and broken bones. All in all, cheerleading may not be the messiest sport. But just because they look nice and perform in unison does not mean they are not some of the strongest and most talented athletes around. In cheerleading competitions, scoring is based on the exactness of the routine and how well it is performed. Unbelievably some cheer parents do not quite understand how it all works. Spot on routines do not happen overnight. Regular and frequent practices are a must.
Cheerleading is rapidly becoming an emerging sport due to its popularity in high schools and colleges. The NCAA committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) is responsible...