Why Cheerleading is a Sport


Julia Engles, Staff

When most people think of high school cheer teams, what comes to mind is pompoms and lots of yelling. Sideline cheering is part of the sport, but what no one emphasizethe athleticism required for practices and competitions. The average student only sees the sideline aspect of cheerleading, but let’s look into the hard work cheerleaders put in off the field 

On average, the CHS cheerleading team practices five days a week, with each practice lasting two hours. That excludes games and competitions, which typically take up more than half of a day.  

Senior Katie Hawrylak, a member of the Varsity Competition team, provides more insight 

“We work hard almost every single day to perfect a routine that gets scored by judges at invitationals and counties. I wish more people knew how much effort we put into cheer daily,” Hawrylak explained. 

People often don’t consider cheer a sport because of the misconception that there are no competitions. That may be true for some schools, but the reality is the cheerleading team goes to many competitions throughout the year. In fact, last winter the JV team placed first at counties and Varsity placed third at their counties. So not only are they competing, but they’re winning at these competitions.  

Senior Empress Tremble is on the Varsity Competition team.  

“I see cheer as three sports in one. If dance, gymnastics, and acrobatics are all considered sports, then I believe that cheer is too. It’s a lot of hard work: we compete and have tough competition to go against. It’s different than what most people know as a traditional sport, but it’s still a sport in my eyes.” 

Another argument for cheer not being a sport is that the main purpose of cheerleaders is to support the “real sports.” If this is true, then why does the cheer team practice five days a week rehearsing their stunts, tumbling, and other skills. Cheerleaders do not exist solely to cheer on other sports; that is part of the job, but it’s important to understand that they are also sport in addition to sideline cheering.  

Tremble explained how cheer has shaped her as a person. 

“Cheer has led me to come out of my shell and step into a leadership role that I otherwise could never see myself in. It’s also helped me battle and overcome my struggle with anxiety. Cheer brings a sense of relaxation in a way that I’m able to be free from outside troubles. I couldn’t be any happier with where I am right now and how cheer has impacted my life,” she explained. 

It’s apparent that cheerleaders hold this sport near and dear, and, for some, it’s become not only a sport, but a catalyst for their personal growth. After hearing these touching testimonials, whether you think cheer is a sport or not is up to you, but there is no denying the hard work that these teams are putting in nearly every day of the week.