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Wimps lift weights, cheerleaders lift people

September 24, 2010

With football season underway, it’s hard to pick out what the fans pay attention to. Is it the actual game, being social with their friends, or the girls on the track with the physical energy and outgoing personalities?

There are many   arguments for why people think or don’t think cheerleading is a sport. I can understand both sides here, but being a cheerleader I’m obligated to go against those who think it shouldn’t be considered a sport.

Cheerleading has come a long way on our very own campus. Since my freshman year, we have become recognized by the school as a club of sorts and now we are competing at the National Cheerleading Association competition in Daytona Beach, Florida on April 6-10, 2011. When people find out that we qualified they start to respect us more and begin to say we are somewhat a sport.

In my opinion, I do believe cheerleading is a sport. You might think this is a little biased because I am one but that’s not the case at all. Have any of you tried picking up a girl above your head and had her fall on you? I believe cheerleading is a sport, a contact one, because in all my years of cheering, I’ve been hit in the face, gotten multiple bruises, and become a stronger person from it.

You have to be fearless as a cheerleader. Knowing that when you throw someone in the air, or you’re being thrown in the air, you have to trust every girl who is in your group. You have to know what every girl around you is thinking in a way because you don’t want to drop that girl or be dropped. This example makes cheerleading a mental sport also.

Just like every other sport on campus, we practice everyday. We have cardiovascular/lifting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and we have practice on Tuesday and Thursday, and an occasional game on Saturday. We have worked our butts off to get where we are today. There has been such a great improvement in the squad since my freshman year and it can only keep getting better.

Often people ask me, “Why are you working out for cheerleading?” It’s a simple question to answer. We work our butts off. To become prepared for the competition level we have to be in enough shape to do the routine over and over again. We have to know the routine forward and backward and in our sleep. You may think this is easy but having a three minute routine, with tumbling, dancing, stunting, and cheering in it takes a lot of energy.

For our homecoming routines we have guys participate. This includes football players, water polo players, and baseball players. They have said to us, “This is kind of hard.” I feel that before someone can judge if it’s a sport or not that they should try cheerleading for a day. We have an image to protect and have to look professional everywhere we go. Before you judge if cheerleading is a sport or not, you should take a walk in our shoes and try to be a cheerleader for a day. It’s not as easy as it seems.

BY KELSEY BESHEARS
Co-Sports Editor

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