Is Cheerleading a Sport?

Emma Childs, Reporter

Is cheerleading a sport? To answer this question you have to truly understand what the definition of a sport is.
A sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
Cheerleading is a mixture of cheers, stunts, flips, and dancing. Most, if not all, of the stunts cheerleaders, perform involve lifting, throwing, and catching another person(s). Lifting this amount of weight means a great amount of strength is needed as well. This alone qualifies as physical excretion. Furthermore, the flips and gymnastic tricks they do require hours of training, mental focus, and body strength.
The element missing, if it’s regarding high school or college cheer, is competing against another team. To argue that the cheerleaders for each team are competing against each other for the best, or loudest cheer would be a stretch. The main goal for them is to entertain and motivate the crowd during the sports event. They aren’t competing to win anything or beat another cheer team.
On the other hand, competitive cheerleading is not missing the element of competition. Each squad or team performs a routine with music, stunts, flips, and tricks. The teams are judged by a panel of cheerleading experts on execution and difficulty.
Each team is competing against each other to be the winner of their division, receive the trophy, and bragging rights.
For the most part, competitive cheerleading is harder than school cheerleading. Competitive cheerleaders normally have a higher skill level and will take specific classes to help their cheering ability. There is also more pressure because of the competition with a win on the line.
Overall, High school cheerleading and college cheerleading do not qualify as a sport by the definition of a sport, or in my opinion. However, competitive cheerleading does qualify in both areas.