Cheerleading – is it a sport


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  • Cheerleading is a physical activity that mixes dance with gymnastics, cheers and stunts. It is all about trust and teamwork. The purpose of cheerleaders is to carry school spirit and support the teams at competitive sporting events. A cheerleading performer is a cheerleader. They are real athletes. Cheerleaders promote positive attitudes , healthy lifestyles, discipline and develops confidence. It is also a good way to keep fit and have fun. They can be seen at the professional sports games for example soccer, rugby and basketball. Cheerleader squads usually travel along their sports team. There are cheerleading squads from the elementary school to the professional squads in the college.
  • Cheerleading is mostly associated with the United States. The roots of cheerleading descend from that country. It started in 1880s, when the crowd started yelling different cheers to support and motivate their team at the college game. The first cheer was organized by Johnny Campbell. He grabbed a megaphone and gathered a group to inspire the team. Then, Cheerleading was born. For the first 25 years, only male voices were heard in cheerleading. When men left the country in the 1920s, women took over.
  • During the years, cheerleading improved, new techniques were added. The pom-pons are used to express movement. First pom-pons were made of paper. Today , the ways of making pom-pons have become endless. By the 1960s, cheerleading was so broadened, that it could be found in almost every school in the U.S. Lawrence Herkimer created the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) and managed cheerleading camps. Due to this renewal, cheerleading had transformed one of the fastest growing activities in the U.S. In 1975, Jeff Webb combined music with cheering and the „cheerleading routine“ was born. In 2004, the 1st World Cheerleading Championships were held, since then it has become annual event.
  • Cheerleading costume always represents a school or organisation. It sometimes has letters of a school or mascot. A typical cheerleading uniform cosists of a skirt and a vest. It is made of polyester. It should allow the freedom in jumping, dancing and stunting.
  • One of the most dangerous school activity is cheerleading – it is even more dangerous than football. Nowadays cheerleaders perform dangerous flying stunts which may cause catastrophic injuries or even death. The amount of serious injuries has increased dramatically during the last 20 years . In the U.S , about 16,000 high school cheerleaders visit a hospital emergency room with an injury each yea r.
  • During competitions, about 40 stunts may be accomplished in three to five minutes by one squad . In 25 years, there have been 75 direct deaths in the U.S. The main reasons of injuries are the riskier stunts, tricks and pyramids which are added to the routines to impress at the cheerleading competition. The most common injuries are: ankle sprains, back injuries, head injuries, broken bones, knee injuries and elbow injuries. To reduce the amount of injuries, there are instructions and suggestions for the stunts and tricks but they are not obligatory.
  • Many people do not count cheerleading as a sport and it is usually classified as an activity. Although, it demands as much skill and athleticism as other sports. The stunts and tricks in cheerleading require a great skill, the grace of dancers and the strength of football players. T he purpose of cheerleading is not competing or contesting like in sport but to entertain and to motivate the other athletic teams. There is a lawsuit going on about that and t he judge said that cheerleading is not a sport because it is too disorganized and undeveloped . There are many different opinions whether cheerleading should be considered as a sport or not. For example Jeff Webb said that competitive cheerleading is as much a sport as chess . Cheerleading coach Terry Jones has said that t his is a multi-million dollar year round sport, not girls wearing short skirts and smiling . The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrations believes that the best category for cheerleading is called „athletic activity“.
  • The competitions have become an important part of cheerleading. The squads invest a lot of money, hundreds of hours and tons of exertion in competing. In 1980, the first high level cheerleading competition was created by Varsity. At the competition, cheerleaders could show their abilities and talents and they could be recognized . Varsity competitions are in different levels: at the state, regional or national but they are all held to the highest standards. C heerleaders practice sometimes more than their team . Five days a week, three hours a day and a lot more before big competitions.
  • Cheerleading is not officially a sport. Despite that, all the high school with a cheerleading squad and all cheerleaders believe this is a sport. I think cheerleaders should be considered as athletes for the hard work they are doing. They compete at the national championships, spend their summer in cheer camps and sometimes they practice even more than football team.
  • Cheerleading – is it a sport

    1. 1. CHEERLEADING – IS IT A SPORT? Supervisors: Tiia Pukk, Marje Maasen Author: Janika Kleemann Carl Robert Jakobson Gymnasium 11c Viljandi 2011
    2. 2. WHAT IS CHEERLEADING? <ul><ul><li>Physical activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and teamwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheerleader – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a real athlet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They promote healthy lifestyles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be seen at the professional sporting events </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. HISTORY OF CHEERLEADING <ul><ul><li>Roots from the U.S </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Started in 1880s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Johnny Campbell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First – only male voices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Later – women took over </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. HISTORY OF CHEERLEADING <ul><ul><li>Pom-pons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the fastest growing activities by the 1960s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawrence Herkimer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Cheerleading routine” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World Cheerleading Championships </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. CHEERLEADING COSTUMES <ul><ul><li>Represent a school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters of a school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually a skirt and a vest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Made of polyester </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. DANGERS OF CHEERLEADING <ul><ul><li>One of the most dangerous school activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dangerous flying stunts cause injuries and death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The amount of injuries has increased dramatically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>16,000 cheerleaders visit hospital with an injury annually </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. DANGERS OF CHEERLEADING <ul><ul><li>40 stunts accomplished by one squad at the competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75 direct deaths in 25 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The main reasons of injuries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The most common injuries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I nstructions and suggestions for the stunts and tricks </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. IS CHEERLEADING A SPORT? <ul><ul><li>Classified as an activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demands great athleticism, the grace of dancers and the strength of football players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition of sport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A lawsuit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many different opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheerleading in a new category – athletic activity </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. CHEERLEADING COMPETITIONS <ul><ul><li>Important part </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A lot of money and hundreds of hours practising are invested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First competition in 1980s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About showing abilities and talents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much more practice than a sports team </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. IN CONCLUSION <ul><ul><li>Cheerleading is not officially a sport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All high schools with a cheerleading squad and all cheerleaders believe this is a sport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheerleaders should be considered as athletes for the hard work </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. REFERENCES <ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>THANK YOU FOR LISTENING! </li></ul>