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  • Clarice Pate: OPINION


CHS cheerleaders pose for the camera before the pep rally

Cheerleading consists of throwing people in the air and dangerous flips that risk injuries, all while keeping smiles on their faces.

Still, many people argue whether cheerleading is a sport or not. Some will say competition cheerleading should be considered a sport, whereas sideline cheerleading should not.

Why should they be described as two separate parts? They are both cheer, they are both physical, and they are both sports.

Sports take physical activity, not just chanting and waving pom poms. Cheerleading takes a lot of strength and balance for both competition and sideline.

“I was a base, so when you’re lifting up a 160 pound girl above your head and she comes flying down and you have to catch her, like that’s not an easy task to do,” said former cheerleader Dakota Clemente.

Watching cheerleaders in person at a football game doesn’t look like it takes much work, as in, they make it look easy. Listening to cheerleaders describe what it takes to be a cheerleader sounds like any other sport someone would play.

“A sport is something that takes a lot of determination, takes dedication, and you always got to put your best foot forward,” said Churchland High cheerleader Jaylah Whitehead, describing what it takes to cheer.

Some, on the other hand, don’t feel that cheerleading is worthy of being labeled a sport.

“I think cheering for a high school on a track is not a sport at all. You are remembering words and shaking pom poms, and I don’t think that’s a sport,” said CHS student Aniyah Smith.

This may be partly true, but listening to the way the cheerleaders describe their routines, they make it sound so much more than just waving pom poms and yelling words. The only way to tell for sure how difficult cheerleading is, is to try it.

Whitehead believes cheerleading is definitely a sport because, “You compete and you are using your physical abilities and you’re lifting people.”

Many people will not put football and cheerleading in the same category, with the argument that there is a lot of physical contact in football and relatively none in cheerleading. But if you think about it, cheerleaders have to lift people up, perform acrobatics, and stack into pyramids while football players can often avoid the contact.

No doubt about it, cheer should be put under the sports category. Both competition and sideline cheer takes hard work, dedication, and physical strength. Compare the way most physical sports prepare for their season and how cheerleaders prepare for their season. It is very similar, if not exactly the same.

Cheer doesn’t get enough credit, go out and watch them. Go, cheer!

Photo: Aniyah Smith

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