Missing the Point on Competitive Cheer


My sister was a great athlete. She used her athleticism and talents to perform highly in a field that still looks for respect and validation amongst those who still believe cheerleading is only "rah rah rah."

She practiced for hours and hours each week, shunning things like track and basketball to join her competitive cheer squad. She wasn't on the sidelines rooting on the boys teams at her high school, she was involved in weekly competitions against other high schools in the district and in the state.

She was involved on two state championship competition cheer squads while in high school. And some people don't want to call her an athlete.

My sister is like many girls in high school and then those women who are now moving on to college -- interested in continuing on in their sport, only to recently be told what they do, their sweat, hard work, bumps and bruises isn't a sport.

Competitive cheer is much different than what many in the blogosphere are trying to portray -- competitive cheer is very much a sport. Sideline cheering is not. And let's not confuse the two, like the previous viewpoint is doing.

Having sat through many competitive cheer events to support my sister, I saw great feats of athleticism, competition, the joy of victory, and as the Wide World of Sports says, the agony of defeat.

I have one major question when it comes to the competitive cheer argument from the Title IX quota advocates -- why are you telling girls and women that the sport they choose to compete in, isn't a sport? It seems counterproductive to those girls who choose to be involved in competitive cheer, because it's a sport they feel most comfortable in.

There are more women's college rowing teams than there are high school rowing teams, yet the world is afraid to admit that these thousands of competitive cheer athletes are in fact, athletes. Women telling other women that what they do isn't a sport, not because they disagree with it in the world of athletics, but they fear the ramifications of Title IX, a useful law that has been perverted as it relates to college sports.

Equestrian, where you ride a horse, is more of a sport than competitive cheer, which is more related to gymnastics (never disputed as a sport) than pom-pom waving.

Competitive cheer is a valid sport and women's groups and Title IX quota advovates calling it a sham are afraid. These women love to participate and compete in their sport.

Sideline cheering = not a sport.
Competitive Cheer = Sport.
Sideline Cheering is NOT Competitive Cheer.

Shutting out women from a sport they want to compete in is counterproductive to "facilitating athletic opportunities."

Then again, for years, we've been afraid to ask college students what they want to compete in, because a group of quota advocates don't believe you should ask potential athletes what they want to pursue as an athletic endeavor.

Had competitive cheer been an option several years ago when my sister graduated from high school, she likely would have pursued it in college. She wasn't going to try to play any of the sponsored sports at the local colleges -- she was 4'10 and 95 pounds.

Singling out only one type of woman as an "athlete" is a slap in the face to those who love competitive cheer. Soccer moms are fiesty, but wait until you get involved with cheer moms. You're going to tell their daughters what they do isn't worthy of being called a sport?

Heaven forbid you allow young girls and women to do what they want athletically.

Competitive cheer has more athletic prowess and competition than several "emerging" NCAA sports, but it has too many women involved, something Title IX quota advocates fear.

How many of you slamming competitive cheer have ever seen a competition? Why don't you ask those girls if what they do is a sport. The Quinnipiac ruling is damning to girls who love their sport. Closing the door to a sport many women compete in for the fear it's a "loophole" isn't doing those girls justice.


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