Cheerleading stands underappericated

Logan Logan

Everyone knows that when they start a sport, their team will  need a place to practice.  Well according to the United States Sports Academy, cheerleading has just been found to be the most dangerous sport for women, but the BSHS cheerleading team is not given a set place to practice.  Before any team can become good, they need a place to practice where they are safe.  As a practice space, the cafeteria with 4 mats that have been around for much more than a few years is not exactly the safest place for the cheerleaders to be practicing. Yet, with the dwindling amount of participants,the basic stereotype of it not being a sport still stands.  The under appreciation of the cheerleading team continues to be shown in these ways: no place to practice, no good safety precautions, and no respect for it being a sport.  

With cheerleading being the number one most dangerous sport for women, having no proper place to practice is no place for a team to be able to climb the ladder to being great.  Stunting is one of the main problems in finding a practice space.  In all-star cheerleading, each team has a gym that must be certified by USASF (U.S. All Star Federation) with space that allows the ceiling to be high enough to complete stunting skills.  This includes basket tosses where a flyer is thrown into the air and caught, leaving the minimum height of the ceiling, by USASF rules, to be 20 feet.  The practice space in the cafeteria for the BSHS cheerleading team meets the requirements, but the safety requirements are not up to standards.  

The safety requirements for all-star team by USASF declare that the minimum practice area should be a 42 foot by 42 foot with a carpet bonded foam surface that is 1.375 inches.  These are the main basics for all-star cheerleading, and many may argue that the BSHS cheerleading team is not all-star, but with a proper place to practice and with teammates willing to work, the team can eventually get there.  Mats for cheerleading are to be cleaned at least once a month with a vacuum and sanitized yearly.  The buildup of mold and dust on the mats are hazards to health.  The lack of safety comes from the coaches of the sport not having the proper certifications to ensure maximum safety for the sport. Safety is a main importance in all sports and must be maintained to have maximum safety.  

The basic stereotype of cheerleading not being a sport is common among schools without a streak of wins and wide amount of girls or boys that are ‘Hollywood ready’.  Now glancing toward CV, their JV, Varsity, and Junior High teams all practice in a USASF certified all-star cheerleading gym to ensure maximum safety.  Their squads have girls filling all the teams that are all-in the sport and put their life in it.  There is no need to drop everything to be a cheerleader, but the focus of the girls that give 110% every time in every practice is what makes the team work.  There are many sports out there that have stereotypes woven through them, but some to most of them are not true: not every football player is big and tough, not every track runner is fast, not everyone can play all positions in a sport.  Stereotypes are just labels that no one wants to have.  According to The Eagle Online Newspaper, cheerleading is not a sport is one of the top five major sport stereotypes, and it’s one that cheerleaders do not want to have.  High school and college cheerleading is one of the only sports that have to cheer for other sports, while performing.  The stereotype of ‘every sport has a ball’ is also significantly false.  Track does not have a ball, yet still is a sport.  Cheerleading may not look hard, but that is the job of cheerleaders, practice until the people thinks it looks easy.  That is what performance sports do.  Next time a stereotype is mentioned, remember, stereotypes are not facts.  

The absence of constant stereotypes, having good safety precautions, and a place to practice is what can bring a team together.  Cheerleading is one of the top underappreciated sports in all of BSHS, yet are expected to bring a good show to every game they perform for.  Underappreciation of sports happens in small school, or even just for a small sport but next time, remember that all sports are equal no matter what sport it is.