Opinion: Cheerleading is a sport

Kaitlin Sells

The age-old debate: is cheerleading a sport? While many say no because they believe cheerleading is nothing more than a performance, and that no real work is put into it. That’s an opinion, so I’m not here to tell anyone they’re wrong, but I will argue for the other side.

Many that claim cheer is not a sport don’t understand how much hard work really goes into it. There are all the early morning practices, weight training and conditioning, to late night practices. It’s not just about smiling and looking pretty on the sideline.

There is a certain amount of skill and strength one needs to tumble. Some people might not understand how difficult it actually is to do a standing back tuck, or how hard it is to push through a full tumbling sequence, or how demanding it is to do a jump sequence in sync with all twenty of your other teammates.

Some people might not think about how dangerous the stunts are, how laborious it is to be held in the air while also making sure to be as stiff as a board, have your arms stiff and looking good, and to keep your toes points; all while remembering to keep a pretty smile on your face. People might not think about the amount of trust between teammates and the teamwork it takes to put together a stunt. You have to be able to trust that the people holding you up in the air aren’t going to drop you.

Some people might not understand how cutthroat competitions are, how tough judges and scoring is, and how close it is between first and second place.

The Georgia Southern cheerleading squad travels every year to take part in the National Cheerleaders Association National Championship in Daytona where the all-girls squad has brought home five national championships and the co-ed squad has brought back one.

I understand that with all the uniforms, the makeup, and the hair people don’t take cheer seriously, but if you step back and look at all the hard work that is actually put in you might change your mind.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu