to TLC’s Cheer Perfection
the real-life triumphs of cheerleaders like world record-breaking back
handspringer Miranda Ferguson
, there’s no doubt in our minds that the feats
these peppy, acrobatic babes are able to accomplish are nothing short of
amazingly athletic. And yet, only 29 high school athletic programs in the U.S.
consider cheerleading to be a sport, Time
From classic teen movie
While cheerleaders used to stand on the sidelines shaking
their pompoms (or cartwheeling through the crowd during pep rallys), in the
last decade or two, cheerleading has become increasingly competitive and
dangerous. The tricks these girls and guys throw are complex and jaw-dropping.
And it’s now wonder that serious injuries are mounting—though doctors are quick
to note that the total injuries caused by cheerleading are miniscule when
compared to sports like hockey and football.
Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics says cheerleading accounts for
nearly two thirds of all catastrophic injuries to female high school athletes.
So what can we do to fix that stat? Make cheerleading a
legit sport, the AAP argues. Why? Well, sports (as opposed to clubs) are
subjected to strict safety and training regulations. Coaches and trainers have
to be qualified, and practice spaces are typically far better maintained. As a
sport, cheerleading could require all athletes to undergo a pre-season
physical. Their strength and conditioning training would be supervised by a
professional, and they would be spotted by people who are well-trained and thus
capable of preventing serious injury should a stunt go wrong. The potential for
concussions would be evaluated, much as it currently is for soccer and lacrosse.
Want to support the
cause? Sign the petition here,
have your squad make a presentation to your school’s athletic director and
board of education, and write letters to your congressman.
What do YOU think, babes? Should cheerleading be considered a
BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 10/29/2012 4:45:00 PM
POSTED IN sports injuries, cheerleading, sport, In the News