You Call That a Sport?


Jesse Hamed

The NA Cheer team performs on the sidelines at Newman Stadium

Jesse Hamed, Staff Writer

Is cheer really a sport? 

That question is asked almost every day. One so annoying, some cheerleaders won’t even respond. But it is so commonly asked, that cheerleaders may not even have an idea themselves if cheer is a sport or not.

There are two types of cheerleading. All star, which is competing against other teams in front of a crowd with many different and impressive skills including dancing, stunts, and tumbling. 

Second is sideline cheer, when cheerleaders cheer for sports teams like Football, Basketball, Soccer, and Wrestling. Sideline cheer also includes stunting, tumbling, and doing scripted cheers to cheer on your sports team. 

All-star cheerleading is very popular and competitive. There are 6 different levels, 6 being the best of the best. Performances usually last from two to three minutes with exciting music, uniforms, and skills to be shown off. 

All-star cheerleading demands a lot out of the cheerleaders’ bodies. Practices can be from once a week to five days a week depending on the level. Cheerleaders also must workout and attend tumbling classes at least once a week. Lots of the skills are very hard to complete, and not many people can do them without training for hours and hours every week.

Cheerleaders receive a lot of hate… but can you do everything cheerleaders do?

Though Sideline Cheer is still a big commitment, it is not as athletically challenging as All-star cheerleading. They still include some of the same elements, but Sideline consists more of cheering on your team with “cheers” (the addition of motions and yelling catchy sayings, cheering on your team). It also includes some stunts and tumbling sequences. Sideline cheer is more for school spirit and having fun than it is for competitiveness and skill.

Cheerleaders receive a lot of hate. Most of it consists of “cheers not a sport,” but can you do everything cheerleaders do? As a cheerleader, I think that Sideline cheer is not a sport. It is usually on the more fun, calmer side. 

But I can say with confidence that All star cheer is a sport because of everything put into it, it is so competitive and taken very seriously in the cheer community. When practice is over not one cheerleader won’t be sweaty. Everyone is given a spot to fit their skills and use them to their fullest potential so no skill is wasted. 

Sounds like a sport to me.