The Most Dangerous Sport: Cheerleading
The height, the stunts, and the falls make cheerleading dangerous.
Some 65% of injuries in female sports are injuries to cheerleaders.
[For a comprehensive overview of the sport of cheerleading in the USA, go to the wikipedia link at the end of this article.]
In contrast to male athletes at the high school and college levels who may aspire to have professional careers in a given sport, female cheerleaders at that level seldom aspire to be professional cheerleaders later in life.
Cheerleading, however, is the most dangerous female sport. Injuries to cheerleaders account for some 65% of injuries recorded from all female sports at both the high school and college levels. They range from the more serious concussions and spinal injuries, even death, on down to broken noses, bruises, sprained ankles and muscle strains.
In its early years, and even today at some schools, coaches and trainers have often been poorly prepared for the task of working with such student athletes. More recently standards have improved, and the level of organized competitions and the adequacy of safety rules for competitors have shown a serious effort being made to reduce such injuries.
Just as in gymnastics and synchronized swimming, individual and team cheerleading efforts are rewarded, not just by a coveted position on a team, but with possible national recognition in a growing number of regional and national competitions in a cheerleading sport which has become a sport for all seasons.
Working out at a community sports facility recently, I noticed a group of female athletes working out and working on their routines under the watchful eye of their instructor. Their workout looked exhausting and challenging. Every member of the team seemed to be having a good time. Their practice was organized and disciplined, and the goal was apparent. They wanted to do credit to their sport, and perform at their best.
More power to you girls and your coach, and to all cheerleaders who add so much not only to the spirit of their team, but also to the spirit of their schools and organizations. Just be careful and work consciously for the safety of every member of your team. Remember the motto: "Safety first, last, and always!"
Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
You can't understand the competitors, without understanding their sport.
- Cheerleading - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The history and the present sophistication of the sport of cheerleading are summarized in this Wikipedia article.