Qualls’ quandry

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By Haylee Qualls

By Haylee Qualls

Over the course of the past four years, I have continuously been told that the sport I invest my time and energy in is not a sport. I am a cheerleader, well I was.

I hung up the pom-poms my junior year of high school to try a different avenue. Though cheerleading may not have been my thing, I still avidly defend the fact that cheer is a sport.

Let’s get something straight: many people hold this chauvinistic, ’50s-era school girl idea of what cheer used to be: the image of the blond haired, long skirt clad, ditzy girl.

Sure, some cheerleaders may be ditzy, but the competition has stepped up. Cheerleaders no longer stand on the sidelines cheering for their losing football team (I won’t even mention my alma mater). They’re out competing every weekend for a championship title.

Dictionary.com defines a sport as an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. If you break down the fundamentals of a “sport” like cheer it would be hard to deny that cheer is indeed a sport.

Cheerleading requires physical activity, anywhere from intense conditioning, to flexibility exercises and core training.

In order to be a cheerleader you have to be strong, whether you’re in the air or on the ground. Cheerleaders have to be skillful at their craft because they are putting their physical well-being in danger.

The girl in the air (also known as a flyer) relies on her bases’ strength to keep her from falling on her face. The bases rely on their flyer to engage her core stability or she will fall on them.

Cheerleading is a deadly sport. If a girl or guy does not bring their A game when practicing or competing they are likely to be injured.

Many girls have ruptured their spleens, broken their necks, and even severed their spinal cords while practicing, causing cheerleading to be considered one of the most dangerous sports.

Not only is cheerleading physically demanding it is an artistic display of enthusiasm and spirit.

Because it is artistic, people see cheer as an activity or a performing art. Cheerleaders may perform, but that’s because you have to perform to compete.

There isn’t an artistic quality to sports such as football and baseball. Though the plays may change from time to time it’s still the same old sport.

How boring.

Now that we’ve established what a sport is, how do you distinguish what should be a sport?

In my humble opinion, groups such as band, color guard, acro-gymnastics, and dance should have the privilege.

RCC students should have an enourmous amount of pride for their band. It is the best band and color guard in the nation. Who else can say that?

So do the cheerleaders, dancers, and artistic performers a favor: Next time you deny us the right to be a sport you do a back flip, or play a 15-minute show on your trumpet while running back and forth across 100 yards.

You’ll quickly notice the skill required.

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