After hearing arguments what category cheerleading falls into, as in sport or not, I came to a conclusion that cheerleading is absolutely a sport. Cheerleading meets all of the athletic specification, but because the primary purpose of cheerleading is to support schools’ athletic teams, competition comes second. In other words, cheer is more than a sport.
When asked about her opinion on why cheer is a “sport,” Natalie Hutchinson, a senior and cheerleader at Estancia High school, stated that people who claim it is not a sport, “...probably haven’t taken into consideration comp[etition] season, which takes up majority of the time. Comp[etition] team, also at Estancia, travels to local and out of state competitions to compete against other teams with stunting, jumps, dance, and (sometimes) tumbling.” Recently, cheer has been signed to classify competition cheer as a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
A sport is defined as an increase in breathing and heart rate, the ability and capacity acquired through effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities, effective and efficient combined action from a group of people, and the action of providing amusement or enjoyment. For practice, cheerleaders are required to frequently exercise and go over cheers or performances which all involve physical activity. Along with learning new cheers, dance routines, and being spirit-full, all involve skill in order to fulfill their performances. It also takes a certain skill level to flip multiple times, stick the landing, and then immediately do it again; jump multiple times, doing different variations, and land perfectly. On top of their stamina, strength, and commitment, they add excellent choreography and yell through the majority of it. Not only that, but cheerleaders must work together to stay in the right count, lift a flyer about 10 feet in the air, sometimes throw the flyer in the air, and catch her without her falling to the ground and getting hurt.
Senior and cheerleader at Estancia High, Micaiah Patterson exclaims, “We sweat, we bleed, we win, and we lose; The only difference between us and any other sport, is we look good while doing it! So is cheer really a sport? Sure you could say that, but to me we are more than just a sport.”
Reporter: Guadalupe Olivares