I am a competitive cheerleader and as well as all other cheerleaders in the world, I want to prove to the world that what I do best, love with all my heart, and can’t live without is most definitely a sport. Trying to clarify this long debate on how cheerleading is a sport and how it is not is my biggest intention in this paper. Polls say that 60% of the voters think cheerleading is a sport and 35% think it is not (Varnavas). Cheerleading should be accepted as a sport and it is all up to the voters, depending on if they know the facts of competitive cheerleading and non-competitive cheerleading.
The birth of cheerleading was commenced with an all boys “pep club” that led cheers at a Princeton University football game in the 1880s. One specific student, Thomas Peebles, passed on the idea of a pep club to the University of Minnesota where he had transferred. The idea surprisingly spread like wildfire and everyone was on board with a pep club at their university to help support and encourage their athletes to victory (“History”). As cheerleading has become more popular and as more females have gotten involved, in the 21st century, majority of cheer squads require a tryout process were you can show off your talent and skills to be chosen. Before, cheerleaders were selected by their level of popularity but today they are required to have complex skills, the muscle of a linebacker, the grace and flexibility of a ballerina, and the balance of a gymnast (AACCA).
In 1972, Title IX became a federal law that was mandated to give equal rights and opportunities for men and women in athletics (“Federal Court”). According to this federal law, cheerleading doesn’t qualify as a sport and has yet to be considered a sport because apparently it is to feminism (Egendorf). There is a lot of physical hard work done in cheerleading and not just cheering on the sidelines for the “real” athletes. A US District judge, Stefan R. Underhill, has seemingly agreed with Title IX arguing that “cheerleading hasn’t developed enough to be considered a sport for Title IX purposes” (Eaton-Rob). Even though US District judge Stefan’s comment may be true and sound right to some, half of the United States believes that cheerleading has done nothing but develop throughout the years. They have even considered it a sport because the skills used in elementary through college and professional become even more strenuous and difficult (Varnavas). As like the United States, for-profit cheerleading associations agree, but they also believe strongly that cheerleading should stay an activity for financial based reasoning (Varnavas).
There is plenty of valid evidence around the world that supports cheerleading as a sport and some that reject cheerleading as a sport (Popoloski). Nowhere is there a one hundred percent set definition of an “official” sport (Lauchaire)! Dictionary.com states that “an athletic activity requires physical prowess and skill in a competitive nature”. Competing with an...