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Cheerleading Is A Sport Essay

1894 words - 8 pages

The New York Times states that cheerleading is the fastest growing girls’ sport, yet more than half of Americans do not believe it is a sport. A sport is defined as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature” (dictionary.com). Cheerleading at a competitive level is physically demanding and requires team work to be the best. The misconception of cheerleaders being weak, nonathletic crowd entertainers makes people believe cheerleaders are not athletes and that cheerleading is just a hobby but cheerleaders that compete at a competitive level are in fact athletes because it meets the standards of what a sport is, which includes rules and regulations, and overcoming air resistance.
Just like any other athlete cheerleaders are athletic and physically fit. Craig Peters the author of Chapter 3: Spirit or Sport? discusses that The Women Sports Foundation considers a sport to “Involve propelling a mass through air or overcoming the resistance of a mass” (Peters). Although cheerleading is not played with a certain type of ball, they do in fact propel a mass in the air and overcome the resistance of air. Cheerleaders are propelling a body into the air and catching it and they move their body through the air, tumbling, overcoming air resistance. Being on a cheer squad is physically demanding participants need to be fit and strong. Unlike any other sport cheerleading is tossing and catching a dead weight of at least one hundred pounds. In any other sport the ball weighs less than a pound. Shalimar Azine, captain of the Stamford High School cheerleading team states, “You need a lot of strength when you are throwing a girl up in the air. It’s not like throwing a football” (Ruden). Not only is cheerleading physically demanding in catching and tossing people, participants have to be flexible and fit for the stunts that they perform, which include; back tucks, front tucks, cart wheels, back hand springs and many more. Cheerleading squads perform a three minute and fifteen second routine. In that short amount of time cheerleaders are trying to build up their points by doing difficult stunts and tumbling, if they were not stretched or physically fit participants could get seriously injured. Although, skeptics believe cheerleading is not considered a “traditional sports”, cheerleading is still physically demanding just like any other sport. People believe a sport is anything that contains a ball or puck and any activity that participants need to shoot and score to win. But cheerleading is considered a sport because, as stated before, cheerleaders receive points by certain stunts that need to be performed and although a ball is not used in cheerleading, cheerleaders still throwing humans in the air and catch them.
In addition to members of the cheer squad being injured because they are not physically fit, cheerleading is the number one sport that causes injury to women. “Last year, there were almost 37,000...

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