Pompoms, bright colors, cute skirts - does this strike a chord? Well, I am sure it does! Because these are what characterize a very popular activity and that is none other than cheery cheerleading! That is one reason why some of the guys go out there to watch games!
Who would want to miss those pretty lasses, eh guys? Nevertheless, cheerleading, as we know is an activity where there are groups who cheer and encourage teams at sports events. But in the recent years a contention has come up about its status. The contention is whether it is a recreational activity or a conventional sport.
Cheerleading - A Sport or a Recreational Activity?
Yes, It Is a Sport!
To start off, how is a 'sport' defined? It is defined as an activity involving physical endurance, fitness and involvement and competition. This definition itself is a valid answer for the whole speculation about whether cheerleading can be categorized as a sport or not. As cheerleading technically speaking totally fits the bill.
It includes physical activity and is also an event for competition. So, considering this, cheerleading is definitely a sport. Another dimension of definition of sport is that it is an activity that pushes the individual mentally and physically to perform at peak levels.
Cheerleading meet these criteria as well. Contemporary cheerleading is a power packed, high performance activity where the cheerleaders slog it out hard. It is not just about clapping and doing cartwheels now. It is much more than that, which makes it as good a sport as football or tennis.
In fact, the cheerleaders have to be as strong as soccer or rugby players but be as athletic as gymnasts, too. Just a look at the complicated and sophisticated stunts like the pyramid that these cheerleaders perform. It is enough proof that it is no mean feat and no less than a sport.
In addition to that, there are cheerleading competitions at various levels, which again is a tantamount to the fact that cheerleading surely is a sport. Many a media organizations too have accepted cheerleading as a sport.
But the Naysayers' Say
The confusion of the whole issue revolving around cheerleading being considered a sport is based on the history of this activity. Initially, it consisted of nothing but clapping and a cartwheel at the most, which was also very rare. It usually used to be just jumps and nothing more than that.
In addition to that there are sports organizations which have not recognized cheerleading as a sport because there are no proper safety rules laid down for this activity. Moreover, every high school or middle school or professional cheerleading squad is not a part of all the cheerleading competitions.
Another point for those who argue against cheerleading being a sport is that even if the participants are athletic and prim and in great shape, it really does not make cheerleading a sport. Another angle is that the religious fanatics and rightists have always wanted to regulate or police it, just like the Islamic and other fundamentalists and rightists.
The pretext apparently is that it is too sexy and bold an activity, with mini skirts and bare midriffs. These groups would never allow or never let cheerleading be a sport. According to them, it most certainly isn't a sport.
Ultimately, it is a situation somewhat like, 'to each his own'. Everyone has an opinion on this and it is fine if they are convinced with it. Some of us do take cheerleading to be a sport, some of us do not. Whether cheerleading is a sport or not totally dependent on our judgment and how we look at it. Till then the controversy will keep raging!