Molly's Paper

Cheerleading is a sport
In every group of friends, schools, communities and parts of the world there are opinions. While everyone’s opinions may not be correct, people are still entitled to their own opinions. There are many topics in which people may have similar opinions for instance about cheerleaders. Most people know who cheerleaders are, the cute girls on the sidelines in the small uniforms cheering loudly for their favorite team. And most people say that’s all that cheerleaders can do. People often say that cheerleaders do work very hard, but they also say that cheerleading is and never will be considered a sport.
The definition of a “sport” is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment, as defined in the Oxford American Dictionary. I have been a cheerleader for eleven years. Some sports go in season, like basketball is in the winter and football in the fall, but cheerleading is an all year, non stop, sport. My high school cheerleading coach Patty Zecy would always say “that considering cheerleading not as a sport was an insult to us, to her and to the definition of a sport.” In high school we cheered four games a week with practices three times a week with Sundays off. The new squads would start in March, but we would not end our season until April. Cheerleaders were the only sport in our high school that the administration would give individual gifts too because they knew we worked that hard.
If you don’t think cheerleading is a sport then you haven’t thrown a girl barely under your size above your head and caught her before plummeting to her death. Or done toe touch after toe touch after toe touch until you could not walk back to your house after wards. You haven’t had to run a mile before every game and practice under nine minutes and then yell at the top of your lungs for your favorite team. Or you haven’t had to do back hand spring after back handspring after back tuck without breaking your leg. And you are expected to look good the whole time.
How can cheerleading not be a sport when its National Championships are aired on ESPN every year? If you can manage doing all those toe touches, back flips and throwing girls in the air without getting hurt then that is an extreme skill. As Rachel Pelzel says in her article about cheerleading, the amount of serious injuries that occur to female athletes is fifty percent and all due to cheerleading.
There is an article in USA today written about cheerleading by Erik Brady. In it Brady discusses how cheerleading is being looked at more now than football and basketball. That now girls are being recruited for colleges and even getting scholarships. So I suggest you put away the stereotype of the average skinny, tall, blonde cheerleader in the little skirt that just stands there and yells, because the cheerleaders who flip and fly in the air are giving the definition of “sport” a run for its money.

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