why cheerleading should be concitered a sport

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Amanda Otten AP English 3 Ashworth, Period 6 18 December 2008 Football Players Throw Balls, Cheerleaders Throw Athletes… Why Competitive Cheerleading should be recognized as an Athletic Sport Competitive cheerleading may cause the average American to forget the archetype of the blond cheerleader in a tight sweater, pining for the muscular quarterback. The world of cheerleading no longer means “sideline” squads, which exist solely to support other teams. Cheerleading used to be thought of only as an accessory to sports, much like a nice handbag or a fresh fitted baseball cap. However, cheerleading has evolved into a mainstream phenomenon. Cheerleading was once considered merely a social activity specifically for girls. It has grown rapidly since the 1970s and is now considered a sport in its own right. This change has resulted in an increased focus on athleticism and competition with other cheerleading squads, and males have become a larger part of the sport. Cheerleading has also become one of the most dangerous sports for high school and college athletes (“Cheerleading Special”). Cheerleading has evolved immensely from sideling squads, which base their success on looks and popularity to competitive teams, which strive for perfection. Competitive cheerleading is more athletic than high cheer squads, or sideline squads, because it requires the strength of football players, the grace of dancers, and the agility of gymnastics (“WeatherNet5”). At a cheerleading competition, cheerleaders are the main focus and their goal is perfection. Their routines are reviewed by a panel of judges and winners are determined by the overall score a team receives (“Cheerleading”). Just like gymnasts, cheerleaders are awarded points for difficulty, technique, creativity, and uniformity. A cheerleader’s precision calls for countless hours of intense practice along with sessions

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