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Will Cheerleading be a Sport? Doctors will Vote on it

Update Date: Jun 15, 2013 02:02 PM EDT
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The subject of whether or not cheerleading is a sport has been debated for years. The stereotypes depicting cheerleaders as popular girls rooting on athletes have led many to believe that cheerleading is an activity and not a sport. However, if people where to dig deeper and look at cheerleading behind the scenes, they would find hard working girls and guys who have to practice acrobatic and gymnastic routines rigorously. In more recent years, cheerleading and the potential dangers involved have gotten more attention. Now, during this weekend, doctors will come together to decide if cheerleading should be considered a sport.

During this weekend's American Medical Association meeting in Chicago, the House of Delegates will discuss a wide range of topics. One of these topics will be cheerleading. Defining cheerleading as a sport will not just change the cheerleaders' reputations, it will also change how healthcare providers and private insurers work with injuries resulting from cheerleading. Proponents for cheerleading want the AMA to acknowledge how cheerleading has evolved into becoming a very competitive activity. Not only does it involve competition like other sports, it can also lead to injuries, such as concussions and sprained ankles.

Due to the dangers involved with cheerleading, proponents want cheerleading to be categorized as a sport so that coaches can become better trained at preventing injuries. On top of that, the proponents want there to be more attention given to cheerleaders who have the some health risks as athletes. Not only would the sport title increase awareness, it could also help break down the stereotypes surrounding cheerleaders. If cheerleaders can be taken more seriously, more attention would be placed on them, which could change certain policies and regulations for the better.

"High school and college cheerleaders account for approximately two-thirds of the catastrophic injuries to female athletes," authors of a 2011 report conducted by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury research wrote. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a statement calling for more attention and awareness to the injuries sustained from cheerleading. However, despite several recommendations and statistics about the level of physical activity involved with cheerleading, it is still not considered a sport. In August of 2012, the federal appeals court ruled that Quinnipiac College in Connecticut could not consider cheerleading a sport.

Whether or not this weekend will change the future of cheerleading remains to be seen. 

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