If you ask any cheerleader “is cheerleading considered a sport?” you will most likely get a very fired up response.
To be considered a sport, and activity must involve physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Cheerleading involves throwing, catching, spinning, and flipping, which all involve physical exertion.
Cheerleaders compete in multiple competitions, including Nationals, which is where top teams from all over the nation come together to compete for the top spot. This is the competition that most, if not all, cheerleaders work towards all year, and it is when all the sweat and tears spent every day practicing in the gym finally pays off. College Nationals are held in mid-January, while High School Nationals are held at the beginning of February.
Additionally, statistics and huge organizations around the world prove the point that cheer is a sport. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is providing funding to the International Cheer Union in the amount of about $25,000 a year, and it provides the ability to apply for further endowments. This funding puts cheerleading in the running for inclusion in the 2024 or 2028 Olympics.
Furthermore, cheerleading is a very dangerous activity. More than 30,000 cheerleaders go to the hospital each year due to their injuries. Recently, a study found that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport for females due to all of the concussions and catastrophic injuries that can leave a cheerleader permanently disabled. As many people and organizations don’t consider cheerleading a sport, there aren’t as many safety regulations as there should be, as one finds in many other, more publicly acknowledged, sports.