Column: Is cheerleading a sport?

David City High School cheerleaders pose for a photo around Senior Renee Backstrom. Backstrom is the only senior on the cheer team.

Brittney Palik

Cheerleading is more than poms, bows, and mini skirts; cheer is a sport that requires hard work, dedication, and teamwork.

A sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. By that definition, cheerleading is a sport.

Cheerleaders put in countless hours perfecting kicks, jumps, and chants. From early mornings to late nights, cheerleaders must put in the work like any other sport team.

The average high school basketball team practices for 10-12 hours a week, while cheerleaders who compete in competitions typically practice 10-11 hours a week.

Cheerleaders also run the risk of getting common sports injuries such as sprains and strains, and some even experience more serious injuries. Some cheerleaders have lost their lives due to cheer stunts gone wrong, making it a potentially dangerous and intense sport.

Saying cheerleading is not a sport undermines all the hard work cheerleaders put in to what they do. Cheerleading takes commitment and hard work, as every sport does, and it deserves to be recognized as a sport.

As a cheerleader, I know exactly how much being a cheerleader takes. Cheerleaders are athletes and deserve to be treated as such.