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Cheerleading: Is this a REAL Sport?

Updated on August 28, 2011

They are not common for soccer games, they don't exist for baseball, some exist for basketball teams at college level but they seem to belong to only one sport-football. Cheerleading has always been a contentious item for some, especially when they talk about whether it is a "sport" or some "girly" thing to so off their bodies and chant, "rah!".

For those who say it is not a real sport and cite their reasons, those people really only see the end result- the cheer squad doing a choreograph. They know nothing of the hard work and dedication it takes for the squad of 10-20 girls or teens to get to that final show stunt. Hours and months of practice getting everyone in sync and acting as one. They know nothing about the national competition and even a world competition for the best cheer squad. Just as grueling as any sport, it focuses on a combo of dance and gymnastics- the girls just happen to be "girly" looking versus tough jocks. There are some guys in it also, but they are truly in the minority and act as support for stunts and flyers. It truly is a woman's or girl's sport.

My daughter is in it, she began at age 11, on the Golden Bears Cheer. Practices were daily for 2 hours after school, then at the Sunday football game. They work over and over perfecting the choreographed routine lasting not more than three minutes. For those going to national competition, it continues another three months ending with a trip to Disneyland for the best of the best cheer competition. Last year, the Golden Bears won 1st place for the Western region.

True, football and other sports are more physical but cheering requires stamina and strength. The sport is getting the squad in perfect unison, including flyers being tossed into the hair, gymnastics and hardcore dance routines like those in a broadway musical. They do sweat and it is great cardio exercise.

Not all sports have to have contact. Consider cheerleaders as Olympic contenders in their competition. It creates discipline and teamwork.

Cheer Squad at Jr. high level


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    • Katharella profile image

      Katharella 6 years ago from Lost in America

      As far as I'm concerned it should be deemed a sport. While you are right about all the work that goes into it, it's even much more from the girls point of view! Your daughter could of put a lot into this hub I bet.

      I know I can, because I was in it myself in a private school.

      Not only is it HARD WORK, it HURTS some of the things you have to do to get in there, and the work it takes to stay in it! Some might look at what seems to them a simple "jump & stretch" but they are not there the days after where you've had to do it repeatedly until you feel your muscles are splitting, but have to go it again until it's right. and you go home for a "rest." Sometimes that rest is as painful as if you've been literally sliced with a knife, plus EVERY SINGLE muscle in your body is worked, and worked HARD. There's a standard on STANDING there. Right now to how you tilted your head, your shoulders, not just how high you jumped but how you landed, and your balance. It's a sport indeed. Stamina yes, hours yes, but think of it. A football player does his game. Sure they can get hurt, but cheerleaders have more than just someone to count on catching a ball, they have to count on the others stamina to make sure they don't hit the ground on their FACE! To top it all off, they have to smile and look happy when sometimes inside the girl is screaming with "let's get this over." They are rooting for the team, their team mates, their school, their district, they're being judged on every movement!

      And I do believe they might not have it defined in the Olympics, but they still have competitions that can lead them from a jr high school to high, to college, and onto major sports, so anybody that thinks this is just a jumping around looking cute in a cheerleading outfit, I'd like to see them just try to do a few weeks of hard training. Lots of girls can't even make the cut to the next year. Oh and they do have competitions where they go up against plenty of other squads.

      Great hub v-up and I wish your daughter all the best, you have everything to be proud of perrya! (and so does she) :)

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      It should be, but I suspect it is not because cheerleading is mostly in America, it is not a international event. Still a sport.

    • sherwinguiuo profile image

      sherwinguiuo 6 years ago from Philippines

      It is not a sport as defined by the framework of Olympics