Is Cheerleading A Sport, Or Not?

This ongoing debate for deciding if cheerleading is a sport is a very meaningful topic to me, since I cheered all throughout high school and now in college. I very much agree that cheerleading is a sport, and I am using my blog post today to tell you why.

The definition of sport, according to Dictionary.com, is an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. As a current cheerleader, I can tell you from my perspective that cheerleading is definitely athletic, ranging from the daily practices a week and the 5:45 a.m. workouts we are required to be at every Tuesday and Thursday.

A big debate for why people don’t think cheerleading is a sport is because of the reason that cheerleaders to do not compete to win anything; they merely look pretty on the sidelines and cheer on the winning team. This is completely false. Yes, many high school teams do not compete but there are also several teams that do compete in the UCA high school cheerleading competitions.

Troy University has recently begun competing again in the past two years. I had the opportunity to experience the real world of competing this past year when we competed at UCA’s college nationals in January. Training for this event was insane, just as all of the other universities competing for this title are. We stayed in Troy practicing almost every day and twice a day during our Christmas break. We only had a week off for Christmas, and we practiced on New Year’s Eve.

Why do we dedicate our hours and time off, if this isn’t considered a sport? We chose to compete to win first place, just like any other sport does. The amount of physical activity that goes into cheerleading, including gymnastics skills and the incredible amount of strength required is definitely aspects that account for as being a sport.

An article in The Washington Post states that cheerleading accounts for more than half of “catastrophic” injuries to girl athletes. The seriousness of the danger in this sport is not taken seriously, which is why there are so many injuries caused by this sport today. My last thoughts on this topic are if this wasn’t considered a sport, how is it that over half of girl athletes’ injuries are from the SPORT of cheerleading?

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