Cheerleading is a sport

Gabrielle Bengnami

It’s an age-old debate that is really no debate at all. 

Cheerleading is a sport, just like football, basketball, hockey or baseball.  

Like any sport, cheerleading requires that participants learn their next moves and execute to perfection. Cartwheels, splits, back-handsprings and front walkovers are the staples of any advanced team (which often travels just as much as any sport requires). 

 “Being a cheerleader isn’t as easy as it looks,” said sophomore Evelyn da Silva Nunes. “You can get hurt if people aren’t doing their jobs, and it’s just very complex dances we need to learn every week. Overall it is a fun experience, but it’s a hard sport.”

Cheerleading is so physical, in fact, that injuries are a regular part of the equation. 

“I love doing cheerleading, but you can sprain an ankle or pull a muscle really quickly if you don’t pay attention,” said sophomore Ana Luiza Silva. “Even though it may not look like it, we are trying our best in each game, but sometimes accidents happen. It is a close contact sport which makes it dangerous.” 

State and appeals courts around the country have already made rulings about the status of cheerleading as a sport. In 2012, a U.S. district court said they recognize that competitive cheerleading requires “strength, agility, and grace,” and that it “might someday warrant recognition as a varsity sport.” 

Strong words, but that’s nine years ago, and perhaps that day has come. 

“We’re trying to get a competitive team together,” said junior Olivia McCann. “Competitive cheer is a three-minute routine, non-stop. We do lift, we throw girls in the air. You have to workout, train, and to do it well you have to be athletic.”