Cheerleading: Is this a REAL Sport?
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.