Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is cheerleading a sport?

Question of the day - what is a sport? This is something which exercises (sorry!) me coming from an Olympic perspective; what sports should be included and what ones not? And it seems from a collection of articles in my inbox this morning that cheerleaders have the same problem. 

Really if you leave cheerleaders on the sidelines (again apologies) then perhaps gymnastics or synchronised swimming would also be voted out? Yes, cheerleaders train incredibly hard but are they there as an extra to the main event or are they athletes in their own right? Maybe any American readers out there can enlighten us on how this is seen on the ground over there as we don't have a huge cheerleader tradition in European sports. I saw some photos of all-male troupes, is this growing or just a gimmick?

You can read up on the cheerleader debate here on the SMH from Australia, the Daily Mail from the UK and on Jezebel.

What other sports do you think suffer from an image problem?


Emmet Ryan said...

Well the Jezebel piece points that there would be a clear structure to how teams would which would really tie down the lone remaining tangible question. No-one can doubt the athleticism required for it, the injury rate alone points to that (or alternatively you could just rent out Bring it On). There may be cynics who question a sport where competitors are judged but um....that would rule out all combat sports, gymnastics, and a hell of a lot of others.

The concept of sport and what is a sport evolves. After all, in Rugby a try used to count for no points it was merely what you had to do to earn a shot at goal.

Emmet Ryan said...

Meant to say "a clear structure to how teams would compete"

Snowcatcher said...

Definitely a sport. I suspect if it were ever added to the Olympic palette, it would be a big draw, like ice skating...

I think there is a very good selection and variety of sports in the Olympics; can't think of one that is not included off the top of my head. However, I do think the Olympics were much better when the athletes were not pros...

niamh said...

@Emmet - thanks for that. Yes, they are judged but as you say so are many other sports. Didn't know that about rugby tries, interesting.

@ Snowcatcher - Agree it would be very popular. But sadly *sobs* can think of sports not in the Olympics - MuayThai for one and am sure there are others. It's just so big though, almost unwieldy.

Judge 'N Jury said...

Cheerleading is not a Sport! Here is why, just visit ISITASPORT.ORG and see for yourself. Join the debate,

Yours Truly,
Judge 'N Jury