Competitive cheerleading: a spirited sport


There is a constant argument between athletes whether cheerleading is an actual sport. When people think of cheerleading, they normally think of the cheerleaders who shake their poms and clap their hands to pump up the crowd at a sporting event. Competitive cheerleaders do just the opposite 

I think that competitive cheer is a sport because it requires a great level of athleticism and skill. Cheerleaders train hard and compete year-round, just like any other activity considered a sport,” Jordyn White, senior, said. 

Competitive cheerleaders practice all year to perfect a two minute and thirty second routine against teams around the world. These cheerleaders put together a routine full of acrobatic stunts, tumbling, and dance to entertain audiences.  

I did competitive cheerleading for four years, and transforming from a gymnast to a cheerleader was extremely different, and I noticed how difficult competitive cheerleading is,” Brittany Miller, junior, said. 

There are hundreds of cheerleading gyms within Georgia, but only a couple of them can boast of athletes accomplishing world and national championships. According to the number of world titles won, the two most successful gyms in the state are the Stingray Allstars and Rockstar Cheer. Within these gyms are athletes who have different types of skills ranging from level one to seven. Their skill set and athletic ability determine the level and team they will be competing with all season. 

I’ve been doing competitive cheerleading for three years now, and Rockstar Gym is my second home for me. I have learned so much, and I love it with all my heart,” Madison Silverman, senior, said. 

With the release of Netflix’s popular series, “Cheer,people are finally realizing the difficulty and talent that this sport requires. The Netflix series shows the reality of competitive cheerleading focusing on Navarro College in Texas and the lives of  its cheerleaders, the inside look of practices, and the determination and dedication that coaches and cheerleaders put into preparing a routine for competition. 

The show, “Cheer,” really showed me how much work is put in and how long it takes to put together a routine,” Laurel O’Brien, sophomore, said. 

Network television first aired national cheerleading competitions in 1982.  Now, major competitions are a staple on ESPN because viewers appreciate of the talent and athletic ability  of this unique sports and its athletes. From shaking pom pons and holding stunts on knees to holding no poms, throwing people up in the air, and tumbling backwards while spinning, fans appreciate the excitement and athleticism of competitive cheerleading.  

“It is crazy to watch how much cheerleading has changed over time, and I love being a part of it,” Blake Nash, freshman, said.  

The difficulty level continues to grow with each passing year,  and nobody knows how much more it could evolve. Cheerleading has proven itself to be a sport with talented and exciting athletes who are always raising the bar, and that is something to cheer about.