Cheerleading, a sport or not?

Valerie - Grove City, Ohio
Entered on October 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports

This I believe…. I believe cheerleading is not just a club sport, or girls jumping around in little uniforms, cheerleading deserves to be called a “Varsity” sport.

For those of you who may disagree with me I strongly urge you to attend and participate in any school’s cheer squad practice. Contrary to what many people think, our practices do not consist of a bunch of girls sitting around gossiping; in fact we have barely any time to sit and “chat.” For example, my practices often started with a two-mile run, followed by a jump workshop, where we stretch and improve our game-day jumps. Then, we would move to practicing our cheers, chants, and mounts. Next, is tumbling, my favorite; here is where we practically risk injury to improve our skills to intrigue the crowd. Lastly, we end our day with conditioning, and I’m not talking about a hair treatment, basically it’s a whole other work out, that leaves you sore the next day! The amazing thing is that we somehow manage to fit all of this into a two and a half hour practice.

It often angers me how the “Bring it on” series portrays the typical American cheerleader. Now the public views cheerleaders as the stereotype we all fight so hard to banish- that we are ditsy, catty, name-brand girls. First off, cheerleaders are not ditsy, one of the many requirements we as school cheerleaders must meet is a GPA of 3.5, so obviously we are not ditsy, as many movies portray us to be. Second, of course we may not all get along all the time, I mean it is a group of 8-12 girls that are constantly together, we are going to not always get along, but again like the movies portray us we do not pride ourselves on being catty.

I feel what I do on a daily basis is worth the “varsity sport” title. I have played hockey for six years now and more strenuous as that “varsity sport” is, I feel many of my cheer practices or games are double the amount of activity than my hockey practices and games. For example, hockey may seem like a rough sport with lots of injuries but I guarantee what I do as a cheerleader is way more dangerous, and I do it without a mouth guard, helmet, and extra thick pads.

Any sport that throws girls tens of feet in the air, that’s main purpose is to cheer their team to victory, and where one is constantly jumping, yelling cheers, and tumbling; is in my opinion very much worthy of being called a “varsity sport.”

So this I believe…. I believe cheerleading is not just a club sport, or girls jumping around in little uniforms, cheerleading defiantly deserves the title of “varsity sport.”