FACE OFF: Cheerleading is a real sport, if not the most dangerous sport

To become an athlete, most of the time skill and body coordination is required for any sport or athletic activity.

According to American Heritage Dictionary a sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.

Therefore, it becomes hard for me to understand the debate over cheerleading being a sport.

Cheerleading was initiated in 1898, by Johnny Campbell, an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, who stood before a crowd at a football game and directed cheers and chants. Of course, during the earlier years, cheerleading was nothing more than hoops and hollers to entertain the crowd and support their team.

As time has progressed, cheerleading has become a “competitive” athletic event just like football, baseball, and hockey. The definition emphasizes on what a sport is, and cheerleading certainly fits that description.

The first nation-wide television broadcast of the Collegiate Cheerleading Championships, which was initiated by the International Cheerleading Foundation, was aired on CBS-TV in the spring of 1978. The British Cheerleading Association and Atlantic Cheer and Dance Competition are all for junior, senior, and collegiate squads have taken place throughout America.

However, having stated those facts, cheerleading has received recognition for the gymnastics, partner stunts, advanced jumps, and preparation process for their upcoming season. At the age of four, all I wanted was skirt and some poms poms. The more you look into cheerleading, it is hard not to realize that it is much more to it than looking cute on the sidelines.

ESPN is the most popular network committed and dedicated to sports in the world. Over 200 National cheerleading competitions have been aired on ESPN.

Your body has to be physically and mentally prepared to lift up girls your size and trust your teammates not to drop you. Cheerleading could be considered a sport and one of the most dangerous sports. Unfortunately, our young ladies and men don’t get the luxury of wearing equipment such as the football and hockey players. But these young ladies are put up over eight feet in the air.

While preparing for try-outs, young ladies come ready to work, usually aware of the dangers and training that takes place. In1993, cheerleaders made 15,600 trips to hospital emergency rooms nationwide for minor to severe injuries, according to results from the study by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.

There are baseball camps, cheerleading camps, football camps and bowling camps that take place to help you improve your skills in each activity. The two most popular cheerleading camp hosts are Universal Cheerleading Association and National Cheerleading Association; both contain strenuous workouts.

Therefore, it is impossible to differentiate cheerleading as not being a sport given that at a competition, scoring takes place and a winner is determined.

Britney Reed is a junior public relations student from Atlanta. She can be reached at thefamuansports@hotmail.com.