Should Cheerleading Be a Sport?
By Emily Koog
Sports- they are competitive, active, require lots of practice, and use teamwork. Football, volleyball, track and many other activities are considered sports. Why isn’t Cheerleading? Many people believe that Cheerleading is just a bunch of girls running around in skirts screaming “GO TEAM!” But, if you have ever been to a Cheerleading competition, you probably know different.
Cheerleading is a very active and physically demanding sport. Cheerleaders must be flexible to perform the kinds of tricks and stunts that are included in a routine. Cheerleaders also must be in shape, they need to have strong muscles and be able to control their bodies, in order to look sharp and balanced as a squad.
Cometitiveness, Some Have it Some Don't
Cheerleading is definitely an actvity for competitive people. There are cheer competitions, where cheer teams create routines that fit to music. These routines are usually high-paced and very difficult. They require a combination of dancing, stunts, cheers and tumbling. These teams’ routines get scored by judges to earn points just like other sports. There are associations dedicated to cheerleading and the rules of cheerleading. The NCA, or National Cheerleading Association, is one of them. Similar to the NBA for basketball, or the NFL for football. These associations dedicate themselves to the rules, guidelines, and safety of the given sport. The NCA is no different.
Teamwork is a value in many sports, including Cheerleading. Cheer teams and squads are formed to practice and compete, just like volleyball teams are formed to practice and compete in volleyball games. Cheerleaders help and encourage each other to strive for the best and get batter as a team. In routines, cheerleaders use different skills to impress the judges. Everyone on the team has different talents and strengths. This helps diversify the squad and increase teamwork. If we depend on one another for the routine to work, we trust each other more.
Activity or Sport?
Karen Durkin wrote “But the mere existence of a lone end-of-season competitive opportunity does not transform an activity into a sport.” I argue that anything can be an activity, football, hockey, volleyball, and even basketball could be an activity. These activities are considered sports when they are physically demanding, require practice, use teamwork, and are active. Cheerleading is all of these and more. Therefore, this “activity” should now be considered a sport.
Durkin, Karen. “Don’t Call an Activity a Sport.” USA Today. 16 Oct, 2009: A.10.SIRS Issues Researcher Web 29. Nov.2012
Gutgold, Emi. “Cheerleading is a Competitive Sport Too.” Morning Call. 17. Aug. 2012: A.13. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 29. Nov. 2012
Arndt, Sandy. “Is There Value in the Sport of Cheerleading?” Edmonton Journal. 10 Aug 2011: E.6. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 29. Nov. 2012