Is Cheerleading a Sport?
Cheerleading was first introduced at Princeton University in 1884. There at Princeton University the audience that attended the football games came up with a cheer that involved yelling and chanting to encourage their team. The initial stages of cheerleading were simply just crowd involvement. Over 100 years later, skills have progressed and become extremely complex, cheerleading is now a form of entertainment that uses organized routines. These routines are made up from elements of tumbling, synchronized dancing, jumps, cheers, and stunting. Cheerleading has evolved and the risk of being a cheerleader has evolved as well. For many years there has been a debate on whether or not cheerleading truly is a sport. So why is it that cheerleading isn’t recognized as a sport in the state of Texas? “More and more young cheerleaders are ending up in the ER after being injured during a cheerleading routine,” Orthopedic Surgeon William Bryan, M.D. of The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. More than 16,000 cheerleaders are seriously injured every year in accidents involving some stunts and tumbles. Out of the nation’s 2.9 million female high school students that participate in school organized teams, only 3% are of them are cheerleaders. But, out of the 2.9 million female athletes, cheerleading is responsible for 65% of all catastrophic injuries in high school athletics. And 67% of female athletes at the college level are due to cheerleading mishaps. Dr. Sally Harris, a specialist in sports medicine and pediatrics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation states that part of the problem when it comes to cheerleading is that it isn’t classified as a sport by many schools. Because of this, cheerleading doesn’t get the same support the other sports get in terms of access to trainers and appropriate facilities. One of the most dangerous “school activities” is cheerleading. Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South...
Cited: “Sport or not a sport: Consider Dan the expert”. The Stanford Daily. 2004-09-29
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