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One-on-One: Is cheerleading a sport?

No

Sports are a sacred thing. They have existed for years to determine the best of the best in terms of brain and brawn. And, as awful as it sounds, cheerleading doesn’t qualify for this.

Cheerleaders do spend an inordinate amount of time and planning to get their routines right, but part of sports is thinking on the fly.

Quarterbacks don’t have every pass planned prior to the game and pitchers don’t have every pitch lined up before they take the mound. There’s a level of quick thinking that goes into playing just about every sport.

And before you very muscular, male cheerleaders come after me, I ran cross-country in high school and I don’t consider it to be a sport.

Cross-country and cheerleading are very difficult things to do, both requiring a lot of hard work and dedication. But sports need a little more. You can spend hours and hours running or cheerleading, and eventually, you’ll probably be very good. But other sports require something more.

Sports are something you have to be born to do. Very rarely do the best athletes emerge at 17 and 18 years old.

Most of the time those same kids that could hit home runs at 10 years old are the ones starring for the high school baseball team.

-Bill Hopkins

Yes

Cheerleading is basically a combination of dance and gymnastics, but there are no beams and no vaults.

I know almost all of you have turned on ESPN at some point to find yourself watching the National High School Championships for cheerleading at Disney.

These girls and boys work hard, break sweats and even get injured preparing for these intense competitions.

Cheerleaders were some of the hardest working girls in my high school, waking up earlier than I would ever dream of.

They perform at every football game and at many other school events. The hours these athletes put in between practice, tournaments and events is amazing. This amount of work proves cheerleading to be a true sport.

Let’s look at the actual definition of a sport from dictionary.com – a competive physical activity that is governed by a set a rules and/or regulations.

If dictionary.com considers fishing a sport, than cheerleading must be considered a sport as well.

People who claim cheerleading is not a sport are just used to the violent, in-your-face action of traditional sports and don’t understand the work that goes into cheerleading.

Final note: if weightlifting is considered a sport than lifting teenage and grown women in the air is too.

-Jeri Kohn