English 1010/Argumentative Essay
8 December 2011
Competitive Cheerleading: Don’t Let the Smile Fool You.
It all started in ancient times, when spectators cheered for the runners at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece. Then in the 1860’s, students in Great Britain began to cheer at competitive sporting events. Soon after, this idea spread to the United States. What most do not know it that the history of cheerleading is closely tied to the history of sports in the United States (History). In fact, the first the initial sporting environment to witness cheerleading was in 1869 by Princeton University’s “pep club” against the home team of Rutgers University. The “pep club” gave cheerleaders the stereotype of only yelling phrases like “Go Team!” and are only there to motivate their team. This stereotype has stuck with cheerleading and is still thought to be just that to this day even though it has changed dramatically, especially in the skills category. First, a distinction, we're not talking about cheerleading alone, an activity that requires you merely attend the athletic event of another team, we're talking about competitive cheerleading, and a sport that crowns a champion after intense head-to-head competitions. The difference between the two is seismic. (Travis) Yes, cheerleaders are at other sporting events to shout phrases of encouragement to the players, but that is the simple part of what the expectations are to be a cheerleader; not just a cheerleader, but a competitive cheerleader. There is more similarities with the other sports than meets the eye; to be a competitive cheerleader it takes drive, dedication, hard work, stamina, and more than anything, a lot of heart and teamwork.
U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill stated that he found competitive cheerleading did not yet meet the criteria to be defined as a sport under Title IX, calling it “underdeveloped and disorganized.” (Goldman) He also wrote that it may...