History of Cheer
Cheer, a diverse and dangerous sport is a very foggy subject for many. The majority of the population would say cheer is just a group cheering on a sports team. Before being able to define what cheer is, one must first look at current day competitive cheer. How cheer gained its stereotypes lays in its history, and rapidly evolved into a completely different function. With cheer being the number one cause of sports injury for girls under twenty, twenty thousand deaths from stunting, and seventy percent of girls sports injuries in high school, the statistics raises an eyebrow as to just what cheerleaders are doing. Cheer went from chants, to stunt groups, to worlds championships in just a century.
Cheer was started in America at Princeton University in 1884 by men. The first cheer was put together to cheer on the varsity football team. The cheer went, “Rah, Rah, Ray! Tiger, Tiger, Sis, Sis, Sis! Boom, Boom, Boom! Aaaaah! Princeton, Princeton, Princeton!”, and soon the students on campus formed the "pep club" ( The Cheerleaders). Thomas Peebles, a graduate from Princeton, took the spirit of his pep club to Minnesota University in 1884 and formed a new club. For a rugby game, the pep club created "team yells" which the crowd started joining in on. Johnny Campbell picked up a megaphone and led the crowd in the uproar for the game, thus was the beginning of cheer. As cheer advanced, new skills were added to it such as choreography, tumbling, and stunting. Women were not permitted to be a part of pep clubs. This should not be a surprise; universities had only just started admitting female students at the time. A fight for the right to cheer was hardly supported by women because they lacked so many other rights. In today’s world, scholastic and competitive cheer teams have spread across the globe to Australia, Germany, Tobago and sixty seven other countries.
Cheer teams were dominated by men, so how did it gain all the stereotypes? During World War II the men were drawn away from their occupations, so women stepped up and took over their places in the workforce. This included women taking over the men’s job in rooting for the home teams. When the war was over, social rules had changed. Cheer became an acceptable activity fofr girls. With the options for female athletes being small, women quickly took over cheer. As cheer became more geared toward women, people began seeing it as a girls only activity. Schools used to have their teams be picked by election. This is where the stereotype was created. Just how the majority of school voting’s turn out, the majority vote goes to the people more popular or more well-known on campus. To put it simply, girl cheerleaders gained a stereotype due to schools intervening with election; a popularity contest, not trying out like other sports.
This type of cheer team would be classified as a recreational scholastic cheer team. These types of cheer teams are put together with no...