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Is Cheerleading a Sport?

            Starting with this school year, Ayala High School has added a new rule. In past years, freshmen enrolled in a sport, or athletic PE, did not have to take regular PE. This year; however, the rule has changed and freshmen are required to take a regular PE in addition to athletic PE. The freshman in spiritleading did not have to take regular PE this year. In not taking regular PE this would make spiritleading a class for freshmen, instead of making it athletic PE as it is for sophomores. Ayala is one of the many schools that remain unsure of where the "activity" of cheer should be placed. Is it a sport or a class? Just how athletic should we be in order to have it considered athletic PE? Cheer in every way is a sport and should be recognized as one by students and their schools. .
             Gymnastics is internationally recognized as an Olympic sport. Since cheer includes some aspects of gymnastics, it should be recognized as sport too. Tumbling was introduced to cheer in 1920's. During that time, cheerleaders became known for their athletic ability. Cheerleaders are athletes like gymnasts are athletes. .
             This is the definition of the word sport in the dictionary: "1) any activity or experience that gives enjoyment or recreation; pastime; diversion 2) such an activity, esp. when competitive, requiring more or less vigorous bodily exertion and carried on, sometimes as a profession according to some traditional form or set of rules, whether outdoors or indoors" (Sport 1386). Every word in that definition, defines cheer as well. .
             Going back to the definition of sport, it states that sometimes a sport can be carried on as a profession. There are professional cheerleaders, song leaders, and mascots. They are not only seen at Laker games or Dallas Cowboy games, but they belong to associations as well. For example, USA stands for United Spirit Association. This is the company that holds Ayala's cheer camps and competitions.

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